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Full text of "The last chronicle of Barset"

JAMES K.MOFFITT 



PAULINE FORE MOFFITT 
LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
GENERAL LIBRARY, BERKELEY 




"ll'S DOQQKD AS DOES IT " 



THE 



LAST CHRONICLE 



OF 



BAESET. 



BY 

ANTHONY TEOLLOPE. 

WITH THIRTY-TWO ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGE H. THOMAS. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 

VOL. II. 



LONDON: 

SMITH, ELDER AND CO., 65, COENHILL. 



M.DCCC.LXVII. 



right of Translation is reserved.] 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP. PAGE 

XLIV. "I SUPPOSE I MUST LET YOU HAVE IT " 1 

XLV. LILY DALE GOES TO LONDON 6 

XL VI. THE BAYSWATER ROMANCE 16 

XLVII. DR. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE 25 

XLVIII. THE SOFTNESS OF SIR RAFFLE BUFFLE 41 

XLIX. NEAR THE CLOSE 49 

L. LADY LUFTON'S PROPOSITION 63 

LI. MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON PILES HER FAGOTS ' 73 

LII. WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN "IT" FOR YOURSELF? 87 

LIH. ROTTEN Row 97 

LIV. THE CLERICAL COMMISSION 106 

L V. FRAMLEY PARSONAGE 1 15 

LVI. THE ARCHDEACON GOES TO FRAMLEY 121 

LVH. A DOUBLE PLEDGE 135 

LVIII. THE CROSS-GRAINEDNESS OF MEN 145 

LIX. A LADY PRESENTS HER COMPLIMENTS TO Miss L. D 157 

LX. THE END OF JAEL AND SISERA 169 

LXI. "IT'S DOGGED AS DOES IT 5 ' 181 

LXII. MR. CRAWLEY'S LETTER TO THE DEAN 193 

LXIII. Two VISITORS TO HOGGLESTOCK 205 

LXIV. THE TRAGEDY IN HOOK COURT 217 

LXV. Miss VAN SIEVER MAKES HER CHOICE 224 

LXVI. REQUIESCAT IN PACE 232 

LXVII. IN MEMORIAM 241 

LXVIII. THE OBSTINACY OF MR. CRAWLEY 251 

LXIX. MR. CRAWLEY'S LAST APPEARANCE ra HIS OWN PULPIT 259 

LXX. MRS. ARABIN is CAUGHT 265 

LXXI. MR. TOOGOOD AT SILVERBRIDGE 275 

LXXII. MR. TOOGOOD AT " THE DRAGON OF WANTLY " 283 

LXXIII. THERE is COMFORT AT PLUMSTEAD 289 

LXXIV. THE CRAWLEYS ARE INFORMED 296 

LXXV. MADALINA'S HEART is BLEEDING 304 

LXXVI. I THINK HE IS LIGHT OF HEART 313 

LXXVII. THE SHATTERED TREE . 320 



CONTENTS. 

CHAP. PAGE 

LXXVIII. THE ARABINS RETURN TO BARCHESTER 327 

LXXJX. MR. CRAWLEY SPEAKS OF HIS COAT 337 

LXXX. Miss DEMOLINES DESIRES TO BECOMI: A FINGER-POST 344 

LXXXI. BARCHESTER CLOISTERS 356 

LXXX1I. THE LAST SCENE AT HOGGLESTOCK 361 

LXXXI1I. MR. CRAWLEY is CONQUERED 373 

LXXXIV. CONCLUSION . 380 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



" IT'S DOGGED AS DOES IT " : Frontispiece 

THEY PRONOUNCED HER TO BE VERY MUCH LIKE A LADY to face page $ 

" AS RIGHT AS A TRIVET, UNCLE " 46 

POSY AND HER GRANDPAPA 57 

MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON PILES HER FAGOTS ,, 82 

" BECAUSE or PAPA'S DISGRACE " 120 

" BUT IT WILL NEVER PASS AWAY," SAID GRACE 142 

" HONOUR THY FATHER, THAT THY DAYS MAY BE LONG IN 

THE LAND" 156 

MRS. PROUDIE'S EMISSARY 210 

"YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT STARVING IS, MY DEAR" 228 

" THEY WILL COME TO HEAR A RUINED MAN DECLARE HIS 

OWN RUIN " 260 

"No SALE AFTER ALL ?" 281 

" THESE ARE THE YOUNG HOGGLESTOCKIANS, ARE THEY ? " 297 

THE LAST DENIAL 324 

" WHAT is IT THAT I BEHOLD ?" 351 

" PERAD VENTURE HE SIGNIFIES HIS CONSENT" ... 371 



THE 



LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 



CHAPTER XLIY. 
"I SUPPOSE I MUST LET YOU HAVE IT." 

ROSBIE had been preparing 
the exact words with which he 
assailed Mr. Butterwell for the 
last quarter of an hour, before 
they were uttered. There is 
always a difficulty in the 
choice, not only of the words 
with which money should be 
borrowed, but of the fashion 
after which they should be 
spoken. There is the slow 
deliberate manner, in using 
which the borrower attempts 
to carry the wished- for lender 
along with him by force of 
argument, and to prove that 
the desire to borrow shows no 
imprudence on his own part, 
and that a tendency to lend will show none on the part of the intended 
lender. It may be said that this mode fails oftener than any other. 
There is the piteous manner, the plea for commiseration. " My dear 
fellow, unless you will see me through now, upon my word I shall be 
very badly off." And this manner may be divided again into two. 
There is the plea piteous with a lie, and the plea piteous with a truth. 
" You shall have it again in two months as sure as the sun rises." 
is generally the plea piteous with a lie. Or it may be as follows : 
II. xvn. it 




2 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" It is only fair to say that I don't quite know when I can pay it back." 
This is the plea piteous with a truth, and upon the whole I think that 
this is generally the most successful mode of borrowing. And there is 
the assured demand, which betokens a close intimacy. " Old fellow, 
can you let me have thirty pounds ? No ? Just put your name, then, on 
the back of this, and I'll get it done in the City." The worst of that 
manner is, that the bill so often does not get itself done in the City. 
Then there is the sudden attack, that being the manner to which 
Crosbie had recourse in the present instance. That there are other 
modes of borrowing by means of which youth becomes indebted to age, 
and love to respect, and ignorance to experience, is a matter of course. 
It will be understood that I am here speaking only of borrowing and 
lending between the Butterwells and Crosbies of the world. " I have 
come to you in great distress," said Crosbie. " I wonder whether you 
can help me. I want you to lend me five hundred pounds." 
Mr. Butterwell, when he heard the words, dropped the paper which 
he was reading from his hand, and stared at Crosbie over his spectacles. 
" Five hundred pounds," he said. "Dear me, Crosbie; that's a 
large sum of money." 

" Yes, it is, a very large sum. Half that is what I want at once ; 
but I shall want the other half in a month." 

" I thought that you were always so much above the world in 
money matters. Gracious me ; nothing that I have heard for a long 
time has astonished me more. I don't know why, but I always thought 
that you had your things so very snug." 

Crosbie was aware that he had made one very great step towards 
success. The idea had been presented to Mr. Butterwell's mind, and 
had not been instantly rejected as a scandalously iniquitous idea, as an 
idea to which no reception could be given for a moment. Crosbie had 
not been treated as was the needy knife-grinder, and had ground to 
stand upon while he urged his request. "I have been so pressed 
since my marriage," he said, " that it has been impossible for me to 
keep things straight." 

" But Lady Alexandrina " 

"Yes ; of course ; I know. I do not like to trouble you with my 
private affairs; there is nothing, I think, so bad as washing one's 
dirty linen in public ; but the truth is, that I am only now free from 
the rapacity of the De Courcys. You would hardly believe me if. I told 
you what I've had to pay. What do you think of two hundred and 
forty-five pounds for bringing her body over here, and burying it at 
De Courcy. 



"I SUPPOSE I MUST LET YOU HAVE IT." 3 

"I'd have -left it where it was." 

" And so would I. You don't suppose I ordered it to be done. 
Poor dear thing. If it could do her any good, God knows I would not 
begrudge it. We had a bad time of it when we were together, but I 
would have spared nothing for her, alive or dead, that was reasonable. 
But to make me pay for bringing the body over here, when I never had 
a shilling with her ! By George, it was too bad. And that oaf John 
De Courcy, I had to pay his travelling bill too." 

" He didn't come to be buried ; did he ? " 

" It's too disgusting to talk of, Butterwell ; it is indeed. And when 
I asked for her money that was settled upon me, it was only two 
thousand pounds, they made me go to law, and it seems there was no 
two thousand pounds to settle. If I like, I can have another lawsuit 
with the sisters, when the mother is dead. Oh, Butterwell, I have 
made such a fool of myself. I have come to such shipwreck ! Oh, 
Butterwell, if you could but know it all." 

" Are you free from the De Courcys now ? " 

" I owe Gazebee, the man who married the other woman, over a 
thousand pounds. But I pay that off at two hundred a year, and he 
has a policy on my life." 

" What do you owe that for ? " 

" Don't ask me. Not that I mind telling you ; furniture, and 

the lease of a house, and his bill for the marriage settlement, d 

him." 

" God bless me. They seem to have been very hard upon you." 

"A man doesn't marry an earl's daughter for nothing, Butterwell. 
And then to think what I lost ! It can't be helped now, you know. 
As a man makes his bed he must lie on it. I am sometimes so mad 
with myself when I think over it all, that I should like to blow my 
brains out." 

" You must not talk in that way, Crosbie. I hate to hear a man 
talk like that." 

" I don't mean that I shall. I'm too much of a coward, I fancy." 
A man who desires to soften another man's heart, should always abuse 
himself. In softening a woman's heart, he should abuse her. " But 
life has been so bitter with me for the last three years ! I haven't had 
an hour of comfort; not an hour. I don't know why I should 
trouble you with all this, Butterwell. Oh, about the money ; yes ; 
that's just how I stand. I owed Gazebee something over a thousand 
pounds, which is arranged as I have told you. Then there were debts, 
due by my wife, at least some of them were, I suppose, and that 

L L 2 



4 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

horrid, ghastly funeral, and debts, I don't doubt, due fcy the cursed 
old countess. At any rate, to get myself clear I raised something over 
four hundred pounds, and now I owe five which must be paid, part 
to-morrow, and the remainder this day month." 

" And you've no security ? " 

"Not a rag, not a shred, not a line, not an acre. There's my salary, 
and after paying Gazebee what comes due to him, I can manage to let 
you have the money within twelve months, that is, if you can lend it me. 
I can just do that and live ; and if you will assist me with the money, I 
will do so. That's what I've brought myself to by my own folly." 

" Five hundred pounds is such a large sum of money." 

"Indeed it is." 

" And without any security ! " 

" I know, Butterwell, that I've no right to ask for it. I feel that. 
Of course I should pay you what interest you please." 

" Money's about seven now," said Butterwell. 

" I've not the slightest objection to seven per cent.," said Crosbie. 

"But that's on security," said Butterwell. 

"You can name your own terms," said Crosbie. 

Mr. Butterwell got out of his chair, and walked about the room 
with his hands in his pockets. He was thinking at that moment what 
Mrs. Butterwell would say to him. " Will an answer do to-morrow 
morning?" he said. "I would much rather have it to-day," said 
Crosbie. Then Mr. Butterwell took another turn about the room. "I 
suppose I must let you have it," he said. 

"Butterwell," said Crosbie, "I'm eternally obliged to you. It's 
hardly too much to say that you've saved me from ruin." 

" Of course I was joking about interest," said Butterwell. "Five 
per cent, is the proper thing. You'd better let me have a little 
acknowledgment. I'll give you the first half to-morrow." 

They were genuine tears which filled Crosbie's eyes, as he seized 
hold of the senior's hands. " Butterwell," he said, "what am I to say 
to you ? " 

" Nothing at all, nothing at all." 

"Your kindness makes me feel that I ought not to have come 
to you." 

" Oh, nonsense. By-the-by, would you mind telling Thompson to 
bring those papers to me which I gave him yesterday ? I promised 
Optimist I would read them before three, and it's past two now." 
So saying he sat himself down at his table, and Crosbie felt that he was 
bound to leave the room. 



"I SUPPOSE I MUST LET YOU HAVE IT." 5 

Mr. Butterwell, when he was left alone, did not read the papers 
which Thompson brought him ; but sat, instead, thinking of his five 
hundred pounds. "Just put them down," he said to Thompson. So 
the papers were put down, and there they lay all that day and all the 
next. Then Thompson took them away again, and it is to be hoped 
that somebody read them. Five hundred pounds ! It was a large 
sum of money, and Crosbie was a man for whom Mr. Butterwell in 
truth felt no very strong affection. " Of course he must have it now," 
he said to himself. " But where should I be if anything happened to 
him ? " And then he remembered that Mrs. Butterwell especially 
disliked Mr. Crosbie, disliked him because she knew that he snubbed 
her husband. "But it's hard to refuse, when one man has known another 
for more than ten 3 r ears." Then he comforted himself somewhat with 
the reflection, that Crosbie would no doubt make himself more pleasant 
for the future than he had done lately, and with a second reflection, 
that Crosbie's life was a good life, and with a third, as to his own 
great goodness, in assisting a brother officer. Nevertheless, as he sat 
looking out of the omnibus -window, on his journey home to Pulney, he 
was not altogether comfortable in his mind. Mrs. Butterwell was a 
very prudent woman. 

But Crosbie was very comfortable in his mind on that afternoon. 
He had hardly dared to hope for success, but he had been successful. 
He had not even thought of Butterwell as a possible fountain of supply, 
till his mind had been brought back to the affairs of his office, by the 
voice of Sir Raffle Buffle at the comer of the street. The idea that 
his bill would be dishonoured, and that tidings of his insolvency would 
be conveyed to the Commissioners at his Board, had been dreadful to 
him. The way in which he had been treated by Musselboro and Dobbs 
Broughton had made him hate City men, and what he supposed to be 
City ways. Now there had come to him a relief which suddenly made 
everything feel light. He could almost think of Mr. Mortimer Gazebee 
without disgust. Perhaps after all there might be some happiness yet 
in store for him. Might it not be possible that Lily would yet accept 
him in spite of the chilling letter, the freezing letter which he had 
received from Lily's mother ? Of one thing he was quite certain. If 
ever he had an opportunity of pleading his own cause with her, he certainly 
would tell her everything respecting his own money difficulties. 

In that last resolve I think we may say that he was right. If Lily 
would ever listen to him. again at all, she certainly would not be 
deterred from marrying him by his own story of his debts. 



CHAPTER XLV. 
LILY DALE GOES TO LONDON. 

ONE morning towards the end of March the squire rapped at the 
window of the drawing-room of the Small House, in which Mrs. Dale 
and her daughter were sitting. He had a letter in his hand, and both 
Lily and her mother knew that he had come down to speak about the 
contents of the letter. It was always a sign of good-humour on the 
squire's part, this rapping at the window. When it became necessary 
to him in his gloomy moods to see his sister-in-law, he would write 
a note to her, and she would go across to him at the Great House. 
At other times, if, as Lily would say, he was just then neither sweet 
nor bitter, he would go round to the front door and knock, and be 
admitted after the manner of ordinary people ; but when he was minded 
to make himself thoroughly pleasant he would come and rap at the 
drawing-room window, as he was doing now. 

" I'll let you in, uncle ; wait a moment," said Lily, as she unbolted 
the window which opened out upon the lawn. " It's dreadfully cold, so 
come in as fast as you can." 

"It's not cold at all," said the squire. "It's more like spring 
than any morning we've had yet. I've been sitting without a fire." 

" You won't catch us without one for the next two months ; will he, 
mamma ? You have got a letter, uncle. Is it "for us to see ? " 

" Well, yes ; I've brought it down to show you. Mary, what do 
you think is going to happen ? " 

A terrible idea occurred to Mrs. Dale at that moment, but she was 
much too wise to give it expression. Could it be possible that the 
squire was going to make a fool of himself and get married ? " I am 
very bad at guessing," said Mrs. Dale. " You had better tell us." 
"Bernard is going to be married," said Lily. 
"How did you know ? " said the squire. 
" I didn't know. I only guessed." 

".Then you've guessed right," said the squire, a little annoyed at 
having his news thus taken out of his mouth. 

" I am so glad," said Mrs. Dale ; " and I know from your manner 
that you like the match." 

" Well, yes. I don't know the young lady, but I think that 



LILY DALE GOES TO LONDON. 7 

upon the whole I do like it. It's quite time, you know, that he got 
married." 

" He's not thirty yet," said Mrs. Dale. 

" He will be, in a month or two." 

" And who is it, uncle ? " 

" Well ; as you're so good at guessing, I suppose you can guess 
that?" 

"It's not that Miss Partridge he used to talk about ? " 

" No ; it's not Miss Partridge, I'm glad to say. I don't believe 
that the Partridges have a shilling among them*" 

" Then I suppose it's an heiress ?" said Mrs. Dale. 

" No ; not an heiress; but she will have some money of her own. 
And she has connexions in Barsetshire, which makes it pleasant." 

" Connexions in Barsetshire ! Who can it be ? " said Lily. 

" Her name is Emily Dunstable," said the squire, " and she is the 
niece of that Miss Dunstable who married Dr. Thorne and who lives 
at Chaldicotes." 

" She was the woman who had millions upon millions," said Lily, 
" all got by selling ointment.' 

"Never mind how it was got," said the squire, angrily. "Miss 
Dunstable married most respectably, and has always made a most 
excellent use of her money." 

" And will Bernard's wife have all her fortune ? " asked Lily. 

" She will have twenty thousand pounds the day she marries, and 
I suppose that will be all." 

"And quite enough, too," said Mrs. Dale. 

" It seems that old Dr. Dunstable, as he was called, who, as Lily 
says, sold the ointment, quarrelled with his son or with his son's 
widow, and left nothing either to her or her child. The mother is 
dead, and the aunt, Dr. Thome's wife, has always provided for the 
child. That's how it is, and Bernard is going to marry her. They 
are to be married at Chaldicotes in May." 

" I am delighted to hear it," said Mrs. Dale. 

" I've known Dr. Thorne for the last forty years ; " and the squire 
now spoke in a low melancholy tone. " I've written to him to say 
that the young people shall have the old place up there to themselves 
if they like it." 

" What ! and turn you out ? " said Mrs. Dale. 

" That would not matter," said the squire. 

** You'd have to come and live with us," said Lily, taking him by 
the hand. 



8 THE LAST CHKONICLE OP BARSET. 

" It doesn't matter much now where I live," said the squire. 

" Bernard will never consent to that," said Mrs. Dale. 

" I wonder whether she'll ask me to be a bridesmaid ? " said Lily. 
" They say that Chaldicotes is such a pretty place, and I should see 
all the Barsetshire people that I've been hearing about from Grace. 
Poor Grace ! I know that the Grantlys and the Thornes are very 
intimate. Fancy Bernard having twenty thousand pounds from the 
making of ointment ! " 

"What does it matter to you where it conies from?" said the 
squire, half in anger. 

" Not in the least ; only it sounds so odd. I do hope she's a 
nice girl." 

Then the squire produced a photograph of Emily DunstaLle 
which his nephew had sent to him, and they all pronounced her to be 
very pretty, to be very much like a lady, and to be very good-humoured. 
The squire was evidently pleased with the match, and therefore the 
ladies were pleased also. Bernard Dale was the heir to the estate, 
and his marriage was of course a matter of moment ; and as on such 
properties as that of Allmgton money is always wanted, the squire 
may be forgiven for the great importance which he attached to the 
young lady's fortune. " Bernard could hardly have married prudently 
without any money," he said, " unless he had chosen to wait till I 
am gone." 

"And then he would have been too old to marry at all," said 
Lily. 

But the squire's budget of news had not yet been emptied. He 
told them soon afterwards that he himself had been summoned up to 
London. Bernard had written to him, begging him to come and see 
the young lady ; and the family lawyer had written also, saying that 
his presence in town would be very desirable. "It is very trouble- 
some, of course ; but I shall go," said the squire. " It will do you all 
the good in the world," said Mrs. Dale ; " and of course you ought to 
know her personally before the marriage." And then the squire made 
a clean breast of it and declared his full purpose. "I was thinking 
that, perhaps, Lily would not object to go up to London with me." 

" Oh, uncle -Christopher, I should so like it," said Lily. 

" If your mamma does not object." 

" Mamma never objects to anything. I should like to see her 
objecting to that ! " And Lily shook her head at her mother. 

" Bernard says that Miss Dunstable particularly wants to see you." 

"Does she, indeed? -And I particularly want to see Miss Dun- 




THEY PRONOUNCED HER TO BE VERY MUCH LIKE A LADY. 



LILY DALE GOES TO LONDON. 9 

stable. How nice ! Mamma, I don't think I've ever been in London 
since I wore short frocks. Do you remember taking us to the 
pantomime ? Only think how many years ago that is. I'm quite sure 
it's time that Bernard should get married. Uncle, I hope you're 
prepared to take me to the play." 

" We must see about that ! " 

" And the opera, and Madame Tussaud, and the Horticultural 
Gardens, and the new conjuror who makes a woman lie upon nothing. 
The idea of my going to London ! And then I suppose I shall be one 
of the bridesmaids. I declare a new vista of life is opening out to me ! 
Mamma, you mustn't be dull while I'm away. It won't be very long, 
I suppose, uncle ? " 

" About a month, probably," said the squire. 

" Oh, mamma ; what will you do ? " 

" Never mind me, Lily." 

" You must get Bell and the children to come. But I cannot 
imagine living away from home a month. I was never away from home 
a month in my life." 

And Lily did go up to town with her uncle, two days only having 
been allowed to her for her preparations. There was very much for 
her to think of in such a journey. It was not only that she would see 
Emily Dunstable who was to be her cousin's wife, and that she would 
go to the play and visit the new conjuror's entertainment, but that she 
would be in the same city both with Adolphus Crosbie and with John 
Eames. Not having personal experience of the wideness of London, 
and of the wilderness which it is ; of the distance which is set there 
between persons who are not purposely brought together it seemed to 
her fancy as though for this month of her absence from home she would 
be brought into close contiguity with both her lovers. She had hitherto 
felt herself to be at any rate safe in her fortress at Allington. When 
Crosbie had written to her mother, making a renewed offer which had 
been rejected, Lily had felt "that she certainly need not see him unless 
it pleased her to do so. He could hardly force himself upon her at 
Allington. And as to John Eames, though he would, of course, be 
welcome at Allington as often as he pleased to show himself, still there 
was a security in the place. She was so much at home there that she 
could always be mistress of the occasion. She knew that she could 
talk to Jriin at Allington as though from ground higher than that on 
which he stood himself ; but she felt that this would hardly be the case 
if she should chance to meet him in London. Crosbie probably would 
not come in her way. Crosbie she thought, and she blushed for the 



10 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 

man she loved, as the idea came across her mind, would be afraid of 
meeting her uncle. But John Eames would certainly find her ; and 
she was led by the experience of latter days to imagine that John would 
never cross her path without renewing his attempts. 

But she said no word of all this, even to her mother. She was 
contented to confine her outspoken expectations to Emily Dunstable, 
and the play, and the conjuror. " The chances are ten to one against 
my liking her, mamma," she said. 

" I don't see that, my dear." 

" I feel to be too old to think that I shall ever like any more new 
people. Three years ago I should have been quite sure that I should 
love a new cousin. It would have been like having a new dress. But 
I've come to think that an old dress is the most comfortable, and an 
old cousin certainly the best." 

The squire had had taken for them a gloomy lodging in Sackville 
Street. Lodgings in London are always gloomy. Gloomy colours 
wear better than bright ones for curtains and carpets, and the keepers 
of lodgings in London seem to think that a certain dinginess of appear- 
ance is respectable. I never saw a London lodging in which any 
attempt at cheerfulness had been made, and I do not think that any 
such attempt, if made, would pay. The lodging-seeker would be 
frightened and dismayed, and would unconsciously be led to fancy that 
something was wrong. Ideas of burglars and improper persons would 
present themselves. This is so certainly the case that I doubt whether 
any well-conditioned lodging-house matron could be induced to show 
rooms that were prettily draped or pleasantly coloured. The big 
drawing-room and two large bedrooms which the squire took, were all 
that was proper, and were as brown, and as gloomy, and as ill-suited 
for the comforts of ordinary life as though they had been prepared for 
two prisoners. But Lily was not so ignorant as to expect cheerful 
lodgings in London, and was satisfied. "And what are we to do 
now ? " said Lily, as soon as they found themselves settled. It was 
still March, and whatever may have been the nature of the weather at 
Allington, it was very cold in London. They reached Sackville 
Street about five in the evening, and fin hour was taken up in unpack- 
ing their trunks and making themselves as comfortable as their circum- 
stances allowed. " And now what are we to do ?" said Lily. 

" I told them to have dinner for us at half-past six." 

" And what after that ? Won't Bernard come to us to-night ? 1 
expected him to be standing on the door-steps waiting for us with his 
bride in his hand." 



LILY DALE GOES TO LONDON. 11 

" I don't suppose Bernard will be here to-night," said the squire. 
" He did not say that he would, and as for Miss Dunstable, I promised 
to take you to her aunt's house to-morrow." 

" But I wanted to see her to-night. Well ; of course bridesmaids 
must wait upon brides. And ladies with twenty thousand pounds 
can't be expected to run about like common people. As for Bernard, 
but Bernard never was in a hurry." Then they dined, and when 
the squire had very nearly fallen asleep over a bottle of port wine which 
had been sent in for him from some neighbouring public-house, Lily 
began to feel that it was very dull. And she looked round the room, 
and she thought that it was very ugly. And she calculated that thirty 
evenings so spent would seem to be very long. And she reflected that 
the hours were probably going much more quickly with Emily Dun- 
stable, who, no doubt, at this moment had Bernard Dale by her side. 
And then she told herself that the hours were not tedious with her 
at home, while sitting with her mother, with all her daily occupations 
within her reach. But in so telling herself she took herself to task, 
inquiring of herself whether such an assurance was altogether true. 
Were not the hours sometimes tedious even at home ? And in this 
way her mind wandered off to thoughts upon life in general, and she 
repeated to herself over and over again the two words which she had 
told John Eames that she would write in her journal. The reader 
will remember those two words ; Old Maid. And she had written 
them in her book, making each letter a capital, and round them she 
had drawn a scroll, ornamented after her own fashion, and she had 
added the date in quaintly formed figures, for in such matters Lily 
had some little skill and a dash of fun to direct it; and she had 
inscribed below it an Italian motto, " Who goes softly, goes safely;" 
and above her work of art she had put a heading " As arranged by 
Fate for L. D." Now she thought of all this, and reflected whether 
Emily Dunstable was in truth very happy. Presently the tears came 
into her eyes, and she got up and went to the window, as though she 
were afraid that her uncle might wake and see them. And as she 
looked out on the blank street, she muttered a word or two " Dear 
mother ! Dearest mother ! " Then the door was opened, and her 
cousin Bernard announced himself. She had not heard his knock at 
the door as she had been thinking of the two words in her book. 

" What ; Bernard ! ah, yes, of course," said the squire, rubbing 
his eyes as he strove to wake himself. " I wasn't sure you would 
come, but I'm delighted to see you. I wish you joy with all my heart, 
with all my heart." 



12 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

" Of course, I should come," said Bernard. "Dear Lily, this is 
so good of you. Emily is so delighted." Then Lily spoke her con- 
gratulations warmly, and there was no trace of a tear in her eyes, and 
she was thoroughly happy as she sat by her cousin's side and listened 
to his raptures about Emily Dunstable. "And you will be so fond of 
her aunt," he said. 

" But is she not awfully rich ? " said Lily. 

"Frightfully rich," said Bernard; "but really you would hardly 
find it out if nobody told } T OU. Of course she lives in a big house, and 
has a heap of servants ; but she can't help that." 

"I hate a heap of servants," said Lily. 

Then there came another knock at the door, and who should enter 
the room but John Eames. Lily for a moment was taken aback, but 
it was only for a moment. She had been thinking so much of him 
that his presence disturbed her for an instant. " He probably will not 
know that I am here," she had said to herself; but she had not yet 
been three hours in London, and he was already with her ! At first 
he hardly spoke to her, addressing himself to the squire. " Lady Julia 
told me you were to be here, and as I start for the Continent early 
to-morrow morning, I thought you would let me come and see you 
before I went." 

"I'm always glad to see you, John," said the squire, " very-glad. 
And so you're going abroad, are you ? " 

Then Johnny congratulated his old acquaintance, Bernard Dale, as 
to his coming marriage, and explained to them how Lady Julia in one 
of her letters had told him all about it, and had even given him the 
number in Sackville Street. " I suppose she learned it from you, 
Lily," said the squire. "Yes, uncle, she did." And then there came 
questions as to John's projected journey to the Continent, and he 
explained that he was going on law-business, on behalf of Mr. Crawley, 
to catch the dean and Mrs. Arabin, if it might be possible. " You see, 
sir, Mr. Toogood, who is Mr. Crawley's cousin, and also his lawyer, is 
my cousin, too ; and that's why I'm going." And still there had been 
hardly a word spoken between him and Lily. 

" But you're not a lawyer, John ; are you ? " said the squire. 

" No. I'm not a lawyer myself." 

" Nor a lawyer's clerk." 

" Certainly not a lawyer's clerk," said Johnny, laughing. 

" Then why should you go ? " asked Bernard Dale. 

Then Johnny had to explain ; and in doing so he became very 
eloquent as to the hardships of Mr. Crawley's case. "You see, sir, 



LILY DALE GOES TO LONDON. 13 

nobody can possibly believe that such a man as that stole twenty 
pounds." 

" I do not for one," said Lily. 

" God forbid that I should say he did," said the squire. 

"I'm quite sure he didn't," said Johnny, warming to his subject. 
" It couldn't be that such a man as that should become a thief all at 
once. It's not human nature, sir ; is it ? " 

"It is very hard to know what is human nature," said the squire. 

"It's the general opinion down in Barsetshire that he did steal it," 
said Bernard. " Dr. Thorne was one of the magistrates who committed 
him, and I know he thinks so." 

" I don't blame the magistrates in the least," said Johnny. 

" That's kind of you," said the squire. 

"Of course you'll laugh at me, sir; but you'll see that we shall 
come out right. There's some mystery in it of which we haven't got 
at the bottom as yet ; and if there is anybody that can help us it's 
the dean." 

" If the dean knows anything, why has he not written and told what 
he knows ? " said the s.quire. 

" That's what I can't say. The dean has not had an opportunity 
of writing since he heard, even if he has yet heard, that Mr. Crawley 
is to be tried. And then he and Mrs. Arabin are not together. It's a 
long story, and I will not trouble you with it all ; but at any rate I'm 
going off to-morrow. Lily, can I do anything for you in Florence ? " 

" In .Florence ? " said Lily ; " and are you really going to 
Florence ? How I envy you." 

" And who pays your expenses ? " said the squire. 

" Well ; as to my expenses, they are to be paid by a person who 
won't raise any unpleasant questions about the amount." 

" I don't know what you mean," said the squire. 

" He means himself," said Lily. 

" Is he going to do it out of his own pocket ? " 

"He is," said Lily, looking at her lover. 

"I'm going to have atrip for my own fun," said Johnny, "and 
I shall pick up evidence on the road, as I'm going; that's all." 

Then Lily began to take an active part in the conversation, and a 
great deal was said about Mr. Crawley, and about Grace, and Lily 
declared that she would be very anxious to hear any news which John 
Eames might be able to send. " You know, John, how fond we are of 
your cousin Grace, at Allington ? Are we not, uncle ? " 

"Yes, indeed," said the squire. "I thought her a very nice girl." 



14 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

" If you should be able to learn anything that may be of use, John, 
how happy you will be." 

" Yes, I shall," said Johnny. 

" And I think it so good of you to go, John. But it is just like 
you. You were always generous." Soon after that he got up and 
went. It was very clear to him that he would have no moment in 
which to say a word alone to Lily ; and if he could find such a moment, 
what good would such a word do him ? It was as yet but a few weeks 
since she had positively refused him. And he tpo remembered very 
well those two words which she had told him that she would write in 
her book. As he had been coming to the house he had told himself 
that his coming would be, could be of no use. And yet he was dis- 
appointed with the result of his visit, although she had spoken to him 
so sweetly. 

" I suppose you'll be gone when I come back ? " he said. 

" We shall be here a month," said the squire. 

" I shall be back long before that, I hope," said Johnny. "Good- 
by, sir. Good-by, Dale. "Good-by, Lily." And he put out his hand 
to her. 

" Good-by, John." And then she added, almost in a whisper, " I 
think you are very, very right to go." How could he fail after that to 
hope as he walked home that she might still relent. And she also 
thought much of him, but her thoughts of him made her cling more 
firmly than ever to the two words. She could not bring herself to 
marry him ; but, at least, she would not break his heart by becoming 
the wife of any one else. Soon after this Bernard Dale went also. I 
am not sure that he had been well pleased at seeing John Eames 
become suddenly the hero of the hour. When a young man is going 
to perform so important an act as tha.t of marriage, he is apt to think 
that he ought to be the hero of the hour himself at any rate among his 
own family. 

Early on the next morning Lily was taken by her uncle to call upon 
Mrs. Thorne, and to see Emily Dunstable. Bernard was to meet them 
there, but it had been arranged that they should reach the house 
first. ''There is nothing so absurd as these introductions," Bernard 
had said. " You go and look at her, and when you've had time to 
look at her, then I'll come ! " So the squire and Lily went off to look 
at Emily Dunstable. 

"You don't mean to say that she lives in that house ? " said Lily, 
when the cab was stopped before an enormous mansion in one of the 
most fashionable of the London squares. 



LILY DALE GOES TO LONDON. 15 

"I believe she does," said the squire. 

" I never shall be able to speak to anybody living in such a house 
as that," said Lily. " A duke couldn't have anything grander." 

" Mrs. Thorne is richer than half the dukes," said the squire. 
Then the door was opened by a porter, and Lily found herself within 
the hall. Everything was very great, and very magnificent, and, as she 
thought, very uncomfortable. Presently she heard a loud jovial voice 
on the stairs. " Mr. Dale, I'm delighted to see you. And this is your 
niece Lily. Come up, my dear. There is a young woman upstairs, 
dying to embrace you. Never mind the umbrella. Put it down any- 
where. I want to have a look at you, because Bernard swears that 
you're so pretty." This was Mrs. Thorne, once Miss Dunstable, the 
richest woman in England, and the aunt of Bernard's bride. The 
reader may perhaps remember the advice which she once gave to 
Major Grantly, and her enthusiasm on that occasion. " There she is, 
Mr. Dale ; what do you think of her ? " said Mrs. Thorne, as she opened 
the door of a small sitting-room wedged in between two large saloons, 
in which Emily Dunstable was sitting. 

" Aunt Martha, how can yon be so ridiculous ? " said the young lady. 
" I suppose it is ridiculous to ask the question to which one really 
wants to have an answer," said Mrs. Thorne. " But Mr. Dale has, in 
truth, come to inspect you, and to form an opinion ; and, in honest 
truth, I shall be very anxious to know what he thinks, though, of 
course, he won't tell me." 

The old man took the girl in his arms, and kissed her on both 
cheeks. " I have no doubt you'll find out what I think," he said, 
" though I should never tell you." 

" I generally do find out what people think," she said. " And so 
you're Lily Dale ? " 

"Yes, I'm Lily Dale." 

' I have so often heard of you, particularly of late ; for you must 
know that a certain Major Grantly is a friend of mine. We must take 
care that that affair comes off all fight, must we not ?" 

" I hope it will." Then Lily turned to Emily Dunstable, and, 
taking her hand, went up and sat beside her, while Mrs. Thorne and 
the^squire talked of the coming marriage. " How long have you been 
engaged?" said Lily. 

" Really engaged, about three weeks. I think it is not more than 
three weeks ago." 

"How very discreet Bernard has been. He never told us a word 
about it while it was going on." 



16 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Men never do tell, I suppose," said Emily Dunstable. 

" Of course you love him very dearly ? " said Lily, not knowing what 
else to say. 

" Of course I do." 

" So do we. You know he's almost a brother to us ; that is, to me 
and my sister. We never had a brother of our own." And so the 
morning was passed till Lily was told by her uncle to come away, and 
was told also by Mrs. Thorne that she was to dine with them in the 
square on that day. " You must not be surprised that my husband is 
not here," she said. "He is a very odd sort of man, and he never 
comes to London if he can help it." 



CHAPTER XLYI. 
THE BAYSWATER ROMANCE. 

EAMES had by no means done his work for that evening when he left 
Mr. Dale and Lily at their lodgings. He had other business on hand 
to which he had promised to give attention, and another person to see 
who would welcome his coming quite as warmly, though by no means 
as pleasantly, as Lily Dale. It was then just nine o'clock, and as he 
had told Miss Demolines, Madalina we may as well call her now, 
that he would be in Porchester Terrace by nine at the latest, it was 
incumbent on him to make haste. He got into a cab, and bid the 
cabman drive hard, and lighting a cigar, began to inquire of himself 
whether it was well for him to hurry away from the presence of Lily 
Dale to that of Madalina Demolines. He felt that he was half-ashamed 
of what he was doing. Though he declared to himself over and over 
again that he never had said a word, and never intended to say a word, 
to Madalina, which all the world might not hear, yet he knew that he 
was doing amiss. He was doing amiss, and half repented it, and yet 
he was half proud of it. He was most anxious to be able to give himself 
credit for his constancy to Lily Dale ; to be able to feel that he was 
steadfast in his passion ; and yet he liked the idea of amusing himself 
with his Bayswater romance, as he would call it, and was not without 
something of conceit as he thought of the progress he had made in it. 
" Love is one thing and amusement is another," he said to himself as 
he puffed the cigar- smoke out of his mouth ; and in his heart he was 
proud of his own capacity for enjoyment. He thought it a fine thing, 



THE BAYSWATER ROMANCE. 17 

although at the same moment he knew it to be an evil thing this 
hurrying away from the young lady whom he really loved to another as 
to whom he thought it very likely that he should be called upon to 
pretend to love her. And he sang a little song as he went, " If she be 
not fair for me, what care I how fair she be." That was intended to 
apply to Lily, and was used as an excuse for his fickleness in going 
to Miss Demolines. And he was, perhaps, too, a little conceited as to 
his mission to the Continent. Lily had told him that she was very glad 
that he was going ; that she thought him very right to go. The words 
had been pleasant to his ears, and Lily had never looked prettier in his 
eyes than when she had spoken them. Johnny, therefore, was rather 
proud of himself as he sat in the cab smoking his cigar. He had, 
moreover, beaten his old enemy Sir Raffle Buffle in another contest, and 
he felt that the world was smiling on him ; that the world was smiling 
on him in spite of his cruel fate in the matter of his real lovesuit. 

There was a mystery about the Bayswater romance which was not 
without its allurement, and a portion of the mystery was connected with 
Madalina's mother. Lady Demolines was very rarely seen, and John 
Eames could not quite understand what was the manner of life of that 
unfortunate lady. Her daughter usually spoke of her with affectionate 
regret as being unable to appear on that particular occasion on account 
of some passing malady. She was suffering from a nervous headache, 
or was afflicted with bronchitis, or had been touched with rheumatism, 
so that she was seldom on the scene when Johnny was passing his 
time at Porchester Terrace. And yet he heard of her dining out, and 
going to plays and operas ; and when he did chance to see her, he 
found that she was a sprightly old woman enough. I will not venture 
to say that he much regretted the absence of Lady Demolines, or that 
he was keenly alive to the impropriety of being left alone with the 
gentle Madalina ; but the customary absence of the elder lady was an 
incident in the romance which did not fail to strike him. 

Madalina was alone when he was shown up into the drawing- 
room on the evening of which we are speaking. 

" Mr. Eames," she said, " will you kindly look at that watch which 
is lying on the table." She looked full at him with her great eyes 
wide open, and the tone of her voice was intended to show him that 
she was aggrieved. 

" Yes, I see it," said John, looking down on Miss Demolines' little 
gold Geneva watch, with which he had already made sufficient acquaint- 
ance to know that it was worth nothing. " Shall I give it you ? " 

" No, Mr. Eames ; let it remain there, that it may remind me, if it 

II. xvn. M M 



18 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

does not remind you, by how long a time you have broken your 
word." 

" Upon my word I couldn't help it; upon my honour I couldn't." 

" Upon your honour, Mr. Eames ! " 

" I was obliged to go and see a friend who has just come to town 
from my part of the country." 

" That is the friend, I suppose, of whom I have heard from Maria." 
It is to be feared that Conway Dalrymple had not been so guarded as 
he should have been in some of his conversations with Mrs. Dobbs 
Broughton, and that a word or two had escaped from him as to the love 
of John Eames for Lily Dale. 

"I don't know what you may have heard," said Johnny, "but I 
was obliged to see these people before I left town. There is going to 
be a marriage and all that sort of thing." 

" Who is going to be married ? " 

" One Captain Dale is going to be married to one Miss Dunstable." 

" Oh ! And as to one Miss Lily Dale, is she to be married to 
anybody? " 

" Not that I have heard of," said Johnny. 

" She is not going to become the wife of one Mr. John Eames ? " 

He did not wish to talk to Miss Demolines about Lily Dale. He 
did not choose to disown the imputation, or to acknowledge its truth. 

" Silence gives consent," she said. "If it be so, I congratulate 
you. I have no doubt she is a most charming young woman. It is 
about seven years, I believe, since that little affair with Mr. Crosbie, 
and therefore that, I suppose, may be considered as forgotten." 

" It is only three years," said Johnny, angrily. " Besides, I don't 
know what that has to do with it." 

" You need not be ashamed," said Madalina. " I have heard how 
well you behaved on that occasion. You were quite the preux chevalier; 
and if any gentleman ever deserved well of a lady you deserved well of 
her. I wonder how Mr. Crosbie felt when he met you the other day 
at Maria's. I had not heard anything about it then, or I should have 
been much more interested in watching your meeting." 

" I really can't say how he felt." 

" I daresay not ; but I saw him shake hands with you. And so 
Lily Dale has come to town ? " 

y eg) Miss Dale is here with her uncle." 

" And you are going away to-morrow ? " 

" Yes, and I am going away to-morrow." 

After that there was a pause in the conversation. Eames was sick 



THE BAYSWATER ROMANCE. 19 

of it, and was very anxious to change the conversation. Miss Demolines 
was sitting in the shadow, away from the light, with her face half 
hidden by her hands. At last she jumped up, and came round and 
stood opposite to him. " I charge you to tell me truly, John Eames," 
she said, " whether Miss Lilian Dale is engaged to you as your 
future wife ? " He looked up into her face, but made no immediate 
answer. Then she repeated her demand. "I ask you whether you 
are engaged to marry Miss Lilian Dale, and I expect a reply." 

" What makes you ask me such a question as that ? " 

" What makes me ask you ? Do you deny my right to feel so much 
interest in you as to desire to know whether you are about to be 
married ? Of course you can decline to tell me if you choose." 

" And if I were to decline ? " 

" I should know then that it was true, and I should think that you 
were a coward." 

" I don't see any cowardice in the matter. One does not talk about 
that kind of thing to everybody." 

" Upon my word, Mr. Eames, you are complimentary; indeed you 
are. To everybody ! I am everybody, am I ? That is your idea of 
friendship ! You may be sure that after that I shall ask no further 
questions." 

" I didn't mean it in the way you've taken it, Madalina." 

"In what way did you mean it, sir? Everybody! Mr. Eames, 
you must excuse me if I say that I am not well enough this evening to 
bear the company of everybody. I think you had better leave me. 
I think that you had better go." 

" Are you angry with me ? " 

" Yes, I am, very angry. Because I have condescended to feel an 
interest in your welfare, and have asked you a question which I thought 
that our intimacy justified, you tell me that that is a kind of thing that 
you will not talk about to everybody. I beg you to understand that I 
will not be your everybody. Mr. Eames, there is the door." 

Things had now become very serious. Hitherto Johnny had been 
seated comfortably in the corner of a sofa, and had not found himself 
bound to move, though Miss Demolines was standing before him. But 
now it was absolutely necessary that he should do something. He 
must either go, or else he must make entreaty to be allowed to remain. 
Would it not be expedient that he should take the lady at her word 
and escape ? She was still pointing to the door, and the way was open 
to him. If he were to walk out now of course he would never return, 
and there would be the end of the Bayswater romance. If he remained 



20 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

it might be that the romance would become troublesome. He got up 
from his seat, and had almost resolved that he would go. Had she not 
somewhat relaxed the majesty of her anger as he rose, had the fire of 
her eye not been somewhat quenched and the lines of her mouth 
softened, I think that he would have gone. The romance would have 
been over, and he would have felt that it had come to an inglorious end ; 
but it would have been well for him that he should have gone. Though 
the fire was somewhat quenched and the lines were somewhat softened, 
she was still pointing to the door. "Do you mean it ? " he said. 

" I do mean it, certainly." 

" And this is to be the end of everything ? " 

" I do not know what you mean by everything. It is a very little 
everything to 'you, I should say. I do not quite understand your 
everything and your everybody." 

" I will go, if you wish mo to go, of course." 

" I do wish it." 

"But before I go, you must permit me to excuse myself. I did 
not intend to offend you. I merely meant " 

"You merely meant ! Give me an honest answer to a downright 
question. Are you engaged to Miss Lilian Dale ? " 

"No ; I am not." 

" Upon your honour ? " 

" Do you think that I would tell you a falsehood about it ? "What 
I meant was that it is a kind of thing one doesn't like talking about, 
merely because stories are bandied about. People are so fond of saying 
that this man is engaged to that woman, and of making up tales ; and 
it seems to be so foolish to contradict such things." 

" But you know that you used to be very fond of her ? " 

He had taken up his hat when he had risen from the sofa, and was 
still standing with it ready in his hand. He was even now half- 
minded to escape ; and the name of Lily Dale in Miss Demolines' 
mouth was so distasteful to him that he would have done so, he 
would have gone in sheer disgust, had she not stood in his way, so 
that he could not escape without moving her, or going round behind 
the sofa. She did not stir to make way for him, and it may be that 
she understood that he was her prisoner, in spite of her late command 
to him to go. It may be, also, that she understood his vexation and 
the cause of it, and that she saw the expediency of leaving Lily Dale 
alone for the present. At any rate, she pressed him no more upon the 
matter. "Are we to be friends again ? " she said. 

"I hope so," replied Johnny. 



THE BAYSWATEK ROMANCE. 21 

" There is rny liand, then." So Johnny took her hand and pressed 
it, and held it a little while, just long enough to seem to give a 
meaning to the action. " You will get to understand me some day," 
she said, " and will learn that I do not like to be reckoned among the 
everybodies by those for whom I really really really have a regard. 
"When I am angry, I am angry." 

* ' You were very angry just now, when you showed me the way 
to the door." 

" And I meant it too, for the minute. Only think, supposing 
you had gone ! We should never have seen each other again ; never, 
never ! What a change one word may make ! " 

" One word often does make a change." 

' ' Does it not ? Just a little ' jes,' or ' no.' A ' no ' is said when a ' yes ' 
is meant, and then there comes no second chance, and what a change 
that may be from bright hopes to desolation ! Or, worse again, a ' yes ' 
is said when a ' no ' should be said, when the speaker knows that it 
should be 'no.' What a difference that 'no' makes! When one thinks 
of it, one wonders that a woman should ever say anything but ' no.' " 

" They never did say anything else to me," said Johnny. 

" I don't believe it. I daresay the truth is, you never asked anybody." 

" Did anybody ever ask you ? " 

"What would you give to know? But I will tell you frankly; 
yes. And once, once I thought that niy answer would not have 
been a * no.' " 

" But you changed your mind ? ' 

" When the moment came I could not bring myself to say the word 
that should rob me of my liberty for ever. I had said * no ' to him often 
enough before, poor fellow ; and on this occasion he told me that he 
asked for the last time. ' I shall not give myself another chance,' he 
said, ' for I shall be on board ship within a week.' I merely bade him 
good-by. It was the only answer I gave him. He understood me, 
and since that day his foot has never pressed his native soil." 

"And was it all because you are so fond of your liberty?" said 
Johnny. 

" Perhaps, I did not love him," said Miss Dernolines, thought- 
fully. She was now again seated in her chair, and John Eames had 
gone back to his corner of the sofa. " If I had really loved him I 
suppose it would have been otherwise. He was a gallant fellow, and 
had two thousand a year of his own, in India stock and other 
securities." 

" Dear me ! And he has not married yet ? " 



22 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 

" He wrote me word to say that he would never marry till I was 
married, but that on the day that he should hear of my wedding, he 
would go to the first single woman near him and propose. It was a 
droll thing to say ; was it not ? " 

" The single woman ought to feel herself flattered." 

" He would find plenty to accept him. Besides being so well off he 
was a very handsome fellow, and is connected with people of title. He 
had everything to recommend him." 

" And yet you refused him so often ? " 

" Yes. You think I was foolish ; do you not ? " 

" I don't think you were at all foolish if you didn't care for him." 

"It was my destiny, I suppose; I daresay I was wrong. Other 
girls marry without violent love, and do very well afterwards. Look at 
Maria Clutterbuck." 

The name of Maria Clutterbuck had become odious to John 
Eames. As long as Miss Demolines would continue to talk about 
herself he could listen with some amount of gratification. Conversation 
on that subject was the natural progress of the Bayswater romance. 
And if Madalina would only call her friend by her present name, he had 
no strong objection to an occasional mention of the lady ; but the 
combined names of Maria Clutterbuck had come to be absolutely 
distasteful to him. He did not believe in the Maria Clutterbuck 
friendship, either in its past or present existence, as described by 
Madalina. Indeed, he did not put strong faith in anything that 
Madalina said to him. In the handsome gentleman with two thousand 
a year, he did not believe at all. But the handsome gentleman had 
only been mentioned once in the course of his acquaintance with Miss 
Demolines, whereas Maria Clutterbuck had come up so often ! " Upon 
my word I must wish you good-by," he said. "It is going on for 
eleven o'clock, and I have to start to-morrow at seven." 

" What difference does that make ? " 

" A fellow wants to get a little sleep, you know." 

" Go then; go and get your sleep. What a sleepy-headed genera- 
tion it is." Johnny longed to ask her whether the last generation was 
less sleepy-headed, and whether the gentleman with two thousand a 
year had sat up talking all night before he pressed his foot for the last 
time on his native soil ; but he did not dare. As he said to himself 
afterwards, " It would not do to bring the Bayswater romance too 
suddenly to its termination ! " "But before you go," she continued, 
" I must say the word to you about that picture. Did you speak to 
Mr. Dalrymple ? " 



THE BAYSWATER ROMANCE. 23 

"I did not. I have been so busy with different things that 1 have 
not seen him." 

" And now you are going ? " 

" Well, to tell the truth, I think I shall see him to-night, in spite 
of my being so sleepy-headed. I wrote him a line that I would look 
in and smoke a cigar with him if he chanced to be at home ! 

" And that is why you want to go. A gentleman cannot live with- 
out his cigar now." 

" It is especially at your bidding that I am going to see him." 

" Go, then, and make your friend understand that if he continues 
this picture of his, he will bring himself to great trouble, and will 
probably ruin the woman for whom he professes, I presume, to feel 
something like friendship. You may tell him that Mrs. Van Siever has 
already heard of it." 

" Who told her ? " demanded Johnny. 

" Never mind. You need not look at me like that. It was not I. 
Bo you suppose that secrets can be kept when so many people know 
them ? Every servant in Maria's house knows all about it." 

" As for that, I don't suppose Mrs. Broughton makes any great 
secret of it." 

" Do you think she has told Mr. Broughton? I am sure she has not. 
I may say I know she has not. Maria Clutterbuck is infatuated. There 
is no other excuse to be made for her." 

" Good-by," said Johnny, hurriedly. 

" And you really are going ? " 

" Well, } r es. I suppose so." 

" Go then. I have nothing more to say to you." 

" I shall come and call directly I return," said Johnny. 

" You may do as you please about that, sir." 

" Do you mean that you won't be glad to see me again ? " 

" I am not going to flatter you, Mr. Eames. Mamma will be well 
by that time, I hope, and I do not mind telling you that you are a 
favourite with her." Johnny thought that this was particularly kind, 
as he had seen so very little of the old lady. " If you choose to call 
upon her," said Madalina, " of course she will be glad to see you." 

" But I was speaking of yourself, you know ? " and Johnny permitted 
himself for a moment to look tenderly at her. 

"Then from myself pray understand that I will say nothing to 
flatter your self-love." 

" I thought you would be kinder just when I was going away." 

" I think I have been quite kind etfough. As you observed yourself 



24 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

just now, it is nearly eleven o'clock, and I must ask you to go away. 
Bon voyage, and a happy return to you." 

" And you will be glad to see me when I ani back ? Tell me that 
you will be glad to see me." 

" I will tell you nothing of the kind. Mr. Eames, if you do, I will 
be very angry with you." And then he went. 

On his way back to his own lodgings he did call on Conway Dal- 
rymple, and in spite of his need for early rising, sat smoking with the 
artist for an hour. "If you don't take care, young man," said his 
friend, " you will find yourself in a scrape with your Madalina." 

" What sort of a scrape ? " 

" As you walk away from Porchester Terrace some fine day, you 
will have to congratulate yourself on having made a successful overture 
towards matrimony." 

" You don't think I am such a fool as that comes to ? " 

" Other men as wise as you have done the same sort of thing. Miss 
Demolines is very clever, and I daresay you find it amusing." 

" It isn't so much that she's clever, and I can hardly say that it is 
amusing. One gets awfully tired of it, you know. But a fellow must 
have something to do, and that is as good as anything else." 

" I suppose you have not heard that one young man levanted last 
year to save himself from a breach of promise case ? " 

" I wonder whether he had any money in Indian securities ?" 

" What makes you ask that ?" 

" Nothing particular." 

" Whatever little he had he chose to save, and I think I heard that 
he went to Canada. His name was Shorter ; and they say that, on 
the eve of his going, Madalina sent him word that she had no objection 
to the colonies, and that, under the pressing emergency of his expa- 
triation, she was willing to become Mrs. Shorter with more expedition 
than usually attends fashionable weddings. Shorter, however, escaped, 
and has never been seen back. again." 

Eames declared that he did not believe a word of it. Nevertheless, 
as he walked home he came to the conclusion that Mr. Shorter must 
have been the handsome gentleman with Indian securities, to whom 
"no " had been said once too often. 

While sitting with Conway Dalryniple, he had forgotten to say a 
word about Jael and Sisera. 



CHAPTER XLVH. 



DR. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 

NTIMATION had been sent 
from the palace to Dr. Tem- 
pest of Silverbridge of the 
bishop's intention that a com- 
mission should be held by 
him, as rural dean, with other 
neighbouring clergymen, as 
assessors with him, that in- 
quiry might be made on the 
part of the Church into the 
question of Mr. Crawley's 
guilt. It must be understood 
that by this time the opinion 
had become very general that 
Mr. Crawley had been guilty, 
that he had found the cheque 
in his house, and that he had, 
after holding it for many 
months, succumbed to temptation, and applied it to his own purposes. 
But various excuses were made for him by those who so believed. In 
the first place it was felt by all who really knew anything of the 
man's character, that the very fact of his committing such a crime 
proved him to be hardly responsible for his actions. He must have 
known, had not all judgment in such matters been taken from him, 
that the cheque would certainly be traced back to his hands. No 
attempt had been made in the disposing of it to dispose of it in such 
a way that the trace should be obliterated. He had simply given it to a 
neighbour with a direction to have it cashed, and had written his own 
name on the back of it. And therefore, though there could be no doubt 
as to the theft in the mind of those who supposed that he had found 
the cheque in his own house, yet the guilt of the theft seemed to be 
almost annihilated by the folly of the thief. And then his poverty, and 
his struggles, and the sufferings of his wife, were remembered ; and 
stories were told from mouth to mouth of his industry in his profession, 

II. XVIII. N N . 




26 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

of his great zeal among those brickmakers of Hoggle End, of acts of 
charity done by him which startled the people of the district into 
admiration ; how he had worked with his own hands for the sick 
poor to whom he could not give relief in money, turning a woman's 
mangle for a couple of hours, and carrying a boy's load along the lanes. 
Dr. Tempest and others declared that he had derogated from the 
dignity of his position as an English parish clergyman by such acts ; 
but, nevertheless, the stories of these deeds acted strongly on the 
minds of both men and women, creating an admiration for Mr. Crawley 
which was much stronger than the condemnation of his guilt. 

Even Mrs. Walker and her daughter, and the Miss Prettymans, 
had so far given way that they had ceased to asseverate their belief in 
Mr. Crawley 's innocence. They contented themselves now with simply 
expressing a hope that he would be acquitted by a jury, and that when 
he should be so acquitted the thing might be allowed to rest. If he had 
sinned, no doubt he had repented. And then there were serious 
debates whether he might not have stolen the money without much sin, 
being mad or half-mad, touched with madness when he took it ; and 
whether he might not, in spite of such temporary touch of madness, be 
well fitted for his parish duties. Sorrow had afflicted him grievously ; 
but that sorrow, though it had incapacitated him for the management 
of his own affairs, had not rendered him unfit for the ministrations of 
his parish. Such were the arguments now used in his favour by the 
women around him ; and the men were not keen to contradict them. 
The wish that he should be acquitted and allowed to remain in his 
parsonage was very general. 

When therefore it became known that the bishop had decided to 
put on foot another investigation, with the view of bringing Mr. 
Crawley' s conduct under ecclesiastical condemnation, almost every- 
body accused the bishop of persecution. The world of the diocese 
declared that Mrs. Proudie was at work, and that the bishop himself 
was no better than a puppet. It was in vain that certain clear-headed 
men among the clergy, of whom Dr. Tempest himself was one, pointed 
out that the bishop after all might perhaps be right; that if Mr. 
Crawley were guilty, and if he should be found to have been so by a 
jury, it might be absolutely necessary that an ecclesiastical court should 
take some cognizance of the crime beyond that taken by the civil law. 
" The jury," said Dr. Tempest, discussing the case with Mr. Kobarts 
and other clerical neighbours, " the jury may probably find him guilty 
and recommend him to mercy. The judge will have heard his 
character, and will have been made acquainted with his manner of life, 



DE. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 27 

and will deal as lightly with the case as the law will allow him. For 
aught I know he may be imprisoned for a month. I wish it might be 
for no more than a day, or an hour. But when he comes out from 
his month's imprisonment, how then ? Surely it should be a case 
for ecclesiastical inquiry, whether a clergyman who has committed a 
theft should be allowed to go into his pulpit directly he comes out 
of prfson?" But the answer to this was that Mr. Crawley always 
had been a good clergyman, was a good clergyman at this moment, 
and would be a good clergyman when he did come out of prison. 

But Dr. Tempest, though he had argued in this way, was by no 

means eager for the commencement of the commission over which he 

was to be called upon to preside. In spite of such arguments as the 

above, which came from the man's head when his head was brought to 

bear upon the matter, there was a thorough desire within his heart to, 

oppose the bishop. He had no strong sympathy with Mr. Crawley, as 

had others. He would have had Mr. Crawley silenced without regret, 

presuming Mr. Crawley to have been guilty. But he had a much 

stronger feeling with regard to the bishop. Had there been any 

question of silencing the bishop, could it have been possible to take 

any steps in that direction, he would have been very active. It may 

therefore be understood that in spite of his defence of the bishop's 

present proceedings as to the commission, he was anxious that the 

bishop should fail, and anxious to put impediments in the bishop's way, 

should it appear to him that he could do so with justice. Dr. Tempest 

was well known among his parishioners to be hard and unsympathetic, 

some said unfeeling also, and cruel ; but it was admitted by those who 

disliked him the most that he was both practical and just, and that he 

cared for the welfare of many, though he was rarely touched by the 

misery of one. Such was the man who was rector of Silverbridge and 

rural dean in the district, and who was now called upon by the bishop 

to assist him in making further inquiry as to this wretched cheque for 

twenty pounds. 

Once at this period Archdeacon Grantly and Dr. Tempest met each 
other and discussed the question of Mr. Crawley 's guilt. Both these 
men were inimical to the present bishop of the diocese, and both had 
perhaps respected the old bishop beyond all other men. But they 
were different in this, that the archdeacon hated Dr. Proudie as a 
partisan, whereas Dr. Tempest opposed the bishop on certain 
principles which he endeavoured to make clear, at any rate to himself. 
"Wrong! " said the archdeacon, speaking of the bishop's intention of 
issuing a commission " of course he is wrong. How could anything 

N N 2 



28 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BARSET. 

right come from him or from her ? I should be sorry to have to do 
his bidding." 

" I think you are a little hard upon Bishop Proudie," said Dr. 
Tempest. 

" One cannot be hard upon him," said the archdeacon. " He is so 
scandalously weak, and she is so radically vicious, that they cannot but 
be wrong together. The very fact that such a man should be a bishop 
among us is to me terribly strong evidence of evil days coming." 

"You are more impulsive than I am," said Dr. Tempest. "In 
this case I am sony for the poor man, who is, I am sure, honest in the 
main. But I believe that in such a case your father would have done 
just what the present bishop is doing ; that he could have done 
nothing else ; and as I think that Dr. Proudie is right I shall do all 
that I can to assist him in the commission." 

The bishop's secretary had written to Dr. Tempest, telling him of 
the bishop's purpose ; and now, in one of the last days of March, the 
bishop himself wrote to Dr. Tempest, asking him to come over to the 
palace. The letter was worded most courteously, and expressed very 
feelingly the great regret which the writer felt at being obliged to take 
these proceedings against a clergyman in his diocese. Bishop Proudie 
knew how to write such a letter. By the writing of such letters, and 
by the making of speeches in the same strain, he had become Bishop of 
Barchester. Now, in this letter, he begged Dr. TJempest to come over 
to him, saying how delighted Mrs. Proudie would be to see him at the 
palace. Then he went on to explain the great difficulty which he felt, 
and great sorrow also, in dealing with this matter of Mr. Crawley. He 
looked, therefore, confidently for Dr. Tempest's assistance. Thinking to 
do the best for Mr. Crawley, and anxious to enable Mr. Crawley to 
remain in quiet retirement till the trial should be over, he had sent a 
clergyman over to Hogglestock, who would have relieved Mr. Crawley 
from the burden of the church- sendees ; but Mr. Crawley would have 
none of this relief. Mr. Crawley had been obstinate and overbearing, 
and had persisted in claiming his right to his own pulpit. Therefore 
was the bishop obliged to interfere legally, and therefore was he under 
the necessity of asking Dr. Tempest to assist him. Would Dr. Tempest 
come over on the Monday, and stay till the Wednesday ? 

The letter was a very good letter, and Dr. Tempest was obliged to 
do as he was asked. He so far modified the bishop's proposition that 
he reduced the sojourn at the palace by one night. He wrote to say 
that he would have the pleasure of dining with the bishop and Mrs. 
Proudie on the Monday, but would return home on the Tuesday, as 



DE. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 29 

soon as the business in hand would permit him. " I shall get on very 
well with him," he said to his wife before he started ; " but I am afraid 
of the woman. If she interferes, there will be a row." " Then, my 
dear," said his wife, "there will be a row, for I am told that she always 
interferes." On reaching the palace about half-an-hpur before dinner- 
time, Dr. Tempest found that other guests were expected, and on 
descending to the great yellow drawing-room, which was used only on 
state occasions, he encountered Mrs. Proudie and two of her daughters 
arrayed in a full panoply of female armour. She received him with 
her sweetest smiles, and if there had been any former enmity between 
Silverbridge and the palace, it was now all forgotten. She regretted 
greatly that ' Mrs. Tempest had not accompanied the doctor ; for 
Mrs. Tempest also had been invited. But Mrs. Tempest was not 
quite as well as she might have been, the doctor had said, and very 
rarely slept away from home. And then the bishop came in and greeted 
his guest with his pleasantest good-humour. It was quite a sorrow to 
him that Silverbridge was so distant, and that he saw so little of Dr. 
Tempest; but he hoped that that might be somewhat mended now, 
and that leisure might be found for social delights ; to all which 
Dr. Tempest said but little, bowing to the bishop at each separate 
expression of his lordship's kindness. 

There were guests there that evening who did not often sit at the 
bishop's table. The archdeacon and Mrs. Grantlyhad been summoned 
from Plurnstead, and had obeyed the summons. Great as was the 
enmity between the bishop and the archdeacon, it had never quite 
taken the form of open palpable hostility. Each, therefore, asked the 
other to dinner perhaps once every year ; and each went to the other, 
perhaps, once in two years. And Dr. Thorne from Chaldicotes was 
there, but without his wife, who in these days was up in London. 
Mrs. Proudie always expressed a warm friendship for Mrs. Thorne, and 
on this occasion loudly regretted her absence. " You must tell her, 
Dr. Thorne, how exceedingly much we miss her." Dr. Thorne, who 
was accustomed to hear his wife speak of her dear friend Mrs. Proudie 
with almost unmeasured ridicule, promised that he would do so. " We 
are so sorry the Luffcons couldn't come to us," said Mrs. Proudie, 
not alluding to the dowager, of whom it was well known that no earthly 
inducement would have sufficed to make her put her foot within 
Mrs. Proudie's room ; " but one of the children is ill, and she 
could not leave him." But the Greshams were there from Boxall Hill, 
and the Thornes from Ullathorne, and, with the exception of a single 
chaplain, who pretended to carve, Dr. Tempest and the archdeacon were 



30 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

the only clerical guests at the table. From all which Dr. Tempest 
knew that the bishop was anxious to treat him. with special considera- 
tion on the present occasion. 

The dinner was rather long and ponderous, and occasionally almost 
dull. The archdeacon talked a good deal, but a bystander with an 
acute ear might have understood from the tone of his voice that he was 
not talking as he would have talked among friends. Mrs. Proudie felt 
this, and understood it, and was angry. She could never find herself 
in the presence of the archdeacon without becoming angry. Her accurate 
ear would always appreciate the defiance of episcopal authority, as now 
existing in Barchester, which was concealed, or only half concealed, 
by all the archdeacon's words. But the bishop was not so keen, nor 
so easily roused to wrath ; and though the presence of his enemy did 
to a certain degree cow him, he strove to fight against the feeling with 
renewed good-humour. 

" You have improved so upon the old days," said the archdeacon, 
speaking of some small matter with reference to the cathedral, " that 
one hardly knows the old place." 

" I hope we have not fallen off," said the bishop, with a smile. 

"We have improved, Dr. Grantly," said Mrs. Proudie, with great 
emphasis on her words. " What you say is true. We have improved." 

"Not a doubt about that," said the archdeacon. Then Mrs. 
Grantly interposed, strove to change the subject, and threw oil upon 
the waters. 

" Talking of improvements," said Mrs. Grantly, " what an excellent 
row of houses they have built at the bottom of High Street. I wonder 
who is to live in them ?" 

" I remember when that was the very worst part of the town," said 
Dr. Thorne. 

' And now they're asking seventy pounds apiece for houses which 
did not cost above six hundred each to build," said Mr. Thome of 
Ullathorne, with that seeming dislike of modern success which is evinced 
by most of the elders of the world. 

" And who is to live in them ?" asked Mrs. Grantly. 

" Two of them have been already taken by clergymen," said the 
bishop, in a tone of triumph. 

"Yes," said the archdeacon, " and the houses in the Close which 
used to be the residences of the prebendaries have been leased out to 
tallow-chandlers and retired brewers. That comes of the working of 
the Ecclesiastical Commission." 

" And why not ?" demanded Mrs. Proudie. 



DR. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 31 

" Why not, indeed, if you like to have tallow-chandlers next door 
to you ? " said the archdeacon. " In the old days, we would sooner have 
had our brethren near to us." 

" There is nothing, Dr. Grantly, so objectionable in a cathedral 
town as a lot of idle clergymen," said Mrs. Proudie. 

"It is beginning to be a question to me," said the archdeacon, 
" whether there is any use in clergymen at all for the present gene- 
ration." 

" Dr. Grantly, those cannot be your real sentiments," said Mrs. 
Proudie. Then Mrs. Grantly, working hard in her vocation as a 
peacemaker, changed the conversation again, and began to talk of the 
American war. But even that was made matter of discord on church 
matters, the archdeacon professing an opinion that the Southerners 
were Christian gentlemen, and the Northerners infidel snobs ; whereas 
Mrs. Proudie had an idea that the Gospel was preached with genuine 
zeal in the Northern States. And at each such outbreak the poor 
bishop would laugh uneasily, and say a word or two to which no one 
paid much attention. And so the dinner went on, not always in the 
most pleasant manner for those who preferred continued social good- 
humour to the occasional excitement of a half- suppressed battle. 

Not a word was said about Mr. Crawley. When Mrs. Proudie and 
the ladies had left the dining-room, the bishop strove to get up a little 
lay conversation. He spoke to Mr. Thorne about his game, and to 
Dr. Thorne about his timber, and even to Mr. Gresham about his 
hounds. " It is not so very many years, Mr. Gresham," said he, 
" since the Bishop of Barchester was expected to keep hounds himself," 
and the bishop laughed at his own joke. 

' Your lordship shall have them back at the palace next season," said 
young Frank Gresham, " if you will promise to do the county justice." 

" Ha, ha, ha ! " laughed the bishop. " What do you say, Mr. 
Tozer ? " Mr. Tozer was the chaplain on duty. 

" I have not the least objection in the world, my lord," said 
Mr. Tozer, " to act as second whip." 

" I'm afraid you'll find them an expensive adjunct to the episco- 
pate," said the archdeacon. And then the joke was over; for there 
had been a rumour, now for some years prevalent in Barchester, that 
Bishop Proudie was not liberal in his expenditure. As Mr. Thorne 
said afterwards to his cousin the doctor, the archdeacon might have 
spared that sneer. "The archdeacon will never spare the man who 
sits in his father's seat," said the doctor. " The pity of it is that men 
who are so thoroughly different in all their sympathies should ever be 



32 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

brought into contact." " Dear, dear," said the archdeacon, as he 
stood afterwards on the rug before the drawing-room fire, " how many 
rubbers of whist I have seen played in this room." " I sincerely hope 
that you will never see another played here," said Mrs. Proudie. " I'm 
quite sure that I shall not," said the archdeacon. For this last sally 
his wife scolded him bitterly on their way home. " You know very 
well," she said, " that the times are changed, and that if you were 
Bishop of Barchester yourself you would not have whist played in the 
palace." " I only know," said he, "that when we had the whist we 
had some true religion along with it, and some good sense and good 
feeling also." " You cannot be right to sneer at others for doing what 
you, would do yourself," said his wife. Then the archdeacon threw 
himself sulkily into the corner of his carriage, and nothing more was 
said between him and his wife about the bishop's dinner-party. 

Not a word was spoken that night at the palace about Mr. Crawley ; 
and when that obnoxious guest from Plumstead was gone, Mrs. Proudie 
resumed her good-humour towards Dr. Tempest. So intent was she 
on conciliating him that she refrained even from abusing the archdeacon, 
whom she knew to have been intimate for very many years with the 
rector of Silverbridge. In her accustomed moods she would have 
broken forth in loud anger, caring nothing for old friendships ; but 
at present she was thoughtful of the morrow, and desirous that Dr. 
Tempest should, if possible, meet her in a friendly humour when the 
great discussion as to Hogglestock should be opened between them. 
But Dr. Tempest understood her bearing, and as he pulled on his 
nightcap made certain resolutions of his own as to the morrow's pro- 
ceedings. " I don't suppose she will dare to interfere," he had said to 
his wife ; " but if she does, I shall certainly tell the bishop that I cannot 
speak on the subject in her presence." 

At breakfast on the following morning there was no one present but 
the bishop, Mrs. Proudie, and Dr. Tempest. Very little was said at 
the meal. Mr. Crawley 's name was not mentioned, but there seemed to 
be a general feeling among them that there was a task hanging over 
them which prevented any general conversation. The eggs were eaten 
and the coffee was drunk, but the eggs and the coffee disappeared 
almost in silence. When these ceremonies had been altogether com- 
pleted, and it was clearly necessary that something further should be 
done, the bishop spoke : " Dr. Tempest," he said, " perhaps you will 
join me in my study at eleven. We can then say a few words to each 
other about the unfortunate matter on which I shall have to trouble 
you." Dr. Tempest said he would be punctual to his appointment, and 



DE. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 83 

then the bishop withdrew, muttering something as to the necessity of 
looking at his letters. Dr. Tempest took a newspaper in his hand, 
which had been brought in by a servant, but Mrs. Proudie did not 
allow him to read it. "Dr. Tempest," she said, " this is a matter of 
most vital importance. I am quite sure that you feel that it is so." 
" What matter, madam ? " said the doctor. 

" This terrible affair of -Mr. Crawley's. If something be not done the 
whole diocese will be disgraced." Then she waited for an answer, but 
receiving none she was obliged to continue. " Of the poor man's guilt 
there can, I fear, be no doubt." Then there was another pause, but still 
the doctor made no answer. " And if he be guilty," said Mrs. Proudie, 
resolving that she would ask a question that must bring forth some 
reply, " can any experienced clergyman think that he can be fit to 
preach from the pulpit of a parish church ? I am sure that you must 
agree with me, Dr. Tempest ? Consider the souls of the people ! " 

" Mrs. Proudie," said he, "I think that we had better not discuss 
the matter." 

" Not discuss it ? " 

" I think that we had better not do so. If I understand the bishop 
aright, he wishes that I should take some step in the matter." 
" Of course he does." 

" And therefore I must decline to make it a matter of common 
conversation." 

" Common conversation, Dr. Tempest ! I should be the last 
person in the world to make it a matter of common conversation. I 
regard this as by no means a common conversation. God forbid 
that it should be a common conversation. I am speaking now very 
seriously with reference to the interests of the Church, which I think 
will be endangered by having among her active servants a man who has 
been guilty of so base a crime as theft. Think of it, Dr. Tempest. 
Theft ! Stealing money ! Appropriating to his own use a cheque for 
twenty pounds which did not belong to him! And then telling such 
terrible falsehoods about it ! Can anything be worse, anything more 
scandalous, anything more dangerous ? Indeed, Dr. Tempest, I do 
not regard this as any common conversation." The whole of this 
speech was not made at once, fluently, or without a break. From stop 
to stop Mrs. Proudie paused, waiting for her companion's words ; but 
as he would not speak she was obliged to continue. "I am sure that 
you cannot but agree with me, Dr. Tempest ? " she said. 

"I am quite sure that I shall not discuss it with you," said the 
doctor, very brusquely. 



34 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"-And why not ? Are you not here to discuss it ? " 

" Not with you, Mrs. Proudie. You must excuse me for saying so, 
but I am not here to discuss any such matter with you. Were I to do 
so, I should be guilty of a very great impropriety." 

"All these things are in common between me and the bishop," 
said Mrs. Proudie, with an air that was intended to be dignified, but 
which nevertheless displayed her rising anger. 

"As to that I know nothing, but they cannot be in common 
between you and me. It grieves me much that I should have to speak 
to you in such a strain, but my duty allows me no alternative. I 
think, if you will permit me, I will take a turn round the garden before 
I keep my appointment with his lordship." And so saying he escaped 
from the lady without hearing her further remonstrance. 

It still wanted nearly an hour to the time named by the bishop, 
and Dr. Tempest used it in preparing for his withdrawal from the 
palace as soon as his interview with the bishop should be over. After 
what had passed he thought that he would be justified in taking 
his departure without bidding adieu formally to Mrs. Proudie. He 
would say a word or two, explaining his haste, to the bishop ; and 
then, if he could get out of the house at once, it might be that he 
would never see Mrs. Proudie again. He was rather proud of his 
success in their late battle, but he felt that, having been so completely 
victorious, it would be foolish in him to risk his laurels in the chance 
of another encounter. He would say not a word of what had happened 
to the bishop, and he thought it probable that neither would Mrs. 
Proudie speak of it, at any rate till after he was gone. Generals who 
are beaten out of the field are not quick to talk of their own repulses. 
He, indeed, had not beaten Mrs. Proudie out of the field. He had, 
in fact, himself run away. But he had left his foe silenced ; and with 
such a foe, and in such a contest, that was everything. He put up his 
portmanteau, therefore, and prepared for his final retreat. Then he 
rang his bell and desired the servant to show him to the bishop's study. 
The servant did so, and when he entered the room the first thing he 
saw was Mrs. Proudie sitting in an arm- chair near the window. The 
bishop was also in the room, sitting with his arms upon the writing- 
table, and his head upon his hands. It was very evident that Mrs. 
Proudie did not consider herself to have been beaten, and that she was 
prepared to fight another battle. " Will you sit down, Dr. Tempest ? " 
she said, motioning him with her hand to a chair opposite to that 
occupied by the bishop. Dr. Tempest sat down. He felt that at the 
moment he had nothing else to do, and that he must restrain any 



DE. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 35 

remonstrance that he might make till Mr. Crawley's name should be 
mentioned. He was almost lost in admiration of the woman. He 
had left her, as he thought, utterly vanquished and prostrated by his 
determined but uncourteous usage of her ; and here she was, present 
again upon the field of battle as though she had never been even 
wounded. He could see that there had been words between her and 
the bishop, and that she had carried a point on which the bishop had 
been very anxious to have his own way. He could perceive at once 
that the bishop had begged her to absent herself and was greatly 
chagrined that he should not have prevailed with her. There she was, 
and as Dr. Tempest was resolved that he would neither give advice 
nor receive instructions respecting Mr. Crawley in her presence, he 
could only draw upon his courage and his strategy for the coming war- 
fare. For a few moments no one said a word. The bishop felt that 
if Dr. Tempest would only begin, the work on hand might be got 
through, even in his wife's presence. Mrs. Proudie was aware that 
her husband should begin. If he would do so, and if Dr. Tempest 
would listen and then reply, she might gradually make her way into 
the conversation ; and if her words were once accepted then she could 
say all that she desired to say; then she could play her part and 
become somebody in the episcopal work. When once she should have 
been allowed liberty of speech, the enemy would be powerless to stop 
her. But all this Dr. Tempest understood quite as well as she under- 
stood it, and had they waited till night he would not have been the 
first to mention Mr. Crawley's name. 

The bishop sighed aloud. The sigh might be taken as expressing 
grief over the sin of the erring brother whose conduct they were then 
to discuss, and was not amiss. ,But when the sigh with its attendant 
murmurs had passed away it was necessary that some initiative step 
should be taken. " Dr. Tempest," said the bishop, " what are we to 
do about this poor stiff-necked gentleman ? " Still Dr. Tempest did 
not speak. " There is no clergyman in the diocese," continued the 
bishop, " in whose prudence and wisdom I have more confidence than 
in yours. And I know, too, that you are by no means disposed to 
severity where severe measures are not necessary. What ought we to 
do ? If he has been guilty, he should not surely return to his pulpit 
after the expiration of such punishment as the law of his country may 
award to him." 

Dr. Tempest looked at Mrs. Proudie, thinking that she might per- 
haps say a word now ; but Mrs. Proudie knew her part better and was 
silent. Angry as she was, she contrived to hold her peace. Let the 



96 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BARSET. 

debate once begin and she would be able to creep into it, and then to 
lead it, and so she would hold her own. But she had met a foe as 
wary as herself. " My lord," said the doctor, " it will perhaps be 
well that you should communicate your wishes to me in writing. If it 
be possible for me to comply with them I will do so." 

" Yes ; exactly ; no doubt ; but I thought that perhaps we might 
better understand each other if we had a few words of quiet conversation 
upon the subject. I believe you know the steps that I have " 

But here the bishop was interrupted. Dr. Tempest rose from his 
chair, and advancing to the table put both his hands upon it. " My 
lord," he said, " I feel myself compelled to say that which I would 
very much rather leave unsaid, were it possible. I feel the difficulty, 
and I may say delicacy, of my position ; but I should be untrue to my 
conscience and to my feeling of what is right in such matters, if I 
were to take any part in a discussion on this matter in the presence of 
a lady." 

" Dr. Tempest, what is your objection ? " said Mrs. Proudie, rising 
from her chair, and coming also to the table, so that from thence she 
might confront her opponent ; and as she stood opposite to Dr. Tempest 
she also put both her hands upon the table. 

" My dear, perhaps you will leave us for a few moments," said the 
bishop. Poor bishop ! Poor weak bishop ! As the words came from 
his mouth he knew that they would be spoken in vain, and that, if so, 
it would have been better for him to have left them unspoken. 

" Why should I be dismissed from your room without a reason ? " 
said Mrs. Proudie. " Cannot Dr. Tempest understand that a wife may 
share her husband's counsels, as she must share his troubles ? If he 
cannot, I pity him very much as to his own household." 

"Dr. Tempest," said the bishop, " Mrs. Proudie takes the greatest 
possible interest in everything concerning the diocese." 

" I am sure, my lord," said the doctor, " that you will see how 
unseemly it would be that I should interfere in any way between you 
and Mrs. Proudie. I certainly will not do so. I can only say again 
that if you will communicate to me your wishes in writing, I will attend 
to them, if it be possible." 

" You mean to be stubborn," said Mrs. Proudie, whose prudence 
was beginning to give way under the great provocation to which her 
temper was being subjected. 

" Yes, madam ; if it is to be called stubbornness, I must be stub- 
born. My lord, Mrs. Proudie spoke to me on this subject in the 
breakfast-room after you had left it, and I then ventured to explain to 



DR. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE, 37 

her that in accordance with such light as I have on the matter, I could 
not discuss it in her presence. I greatly grieve that I failed to make 
myself understood by her, as, otherwise, this unpleasantness might 
have been spared." 

" I understood you very well, Dr. Tempest, and I think you to be a 
most unreasonable man. Indeed, I might use a much harsher word." 

" You may use any word you please, Mrs. Proudie," said the 
doctor. 

" My dear, I really think you had better leave us for a few minutes," 
said the bishop. 

"No, my lord, no," said Mrs. Proudie, turning round upon her 
husband. ''Not so. It would be most unbecoming that I should be 
turned out of a room in this palace by an uncourteous word from a 
parish clergyman. It would be unseemly. If Dr. Tempest forgets his 
duty, I will not forget mine. There are other clergymen in the diocese 
besides Dr. Tempest who can undertake the very easy task of this com- 
mission. As for his having been appointed rural dean I don't know 
how many years ago, it is a matter of no consequence whatever. In 
such a preliminary inquiry any three clergymen will suffice. It need 
not be done by the rural dean at all." 
"My dear! " 

" I will not be turned out of this room by Dr. Tempest ; and that 
is enough." 

"My lord," said the doctor, "you had better write to me as I 
proposed to you just now." 

" His lordship will not write. His lordship will do nothing of the 
kind," said Mrs. Proudie. 

" My dear ! " said the bishop, driven in his perplexity beyond all 
carefulness of reticence. " My dear, I do wish you wouldn't, I do 
indeed. If you would only go away ! " 

" I will not go away, my lord," said Mrs. Proudie. 
" But I will," said Dr. Tempest, feeling true compassion for the 
unfortunate man whom he saw writhing in agony before him. " It will 
manifestly be for the best that I should retire. My lord, I wish you 
good morning. Mrs. Proudie, good morning." And so he left the room. 
" A most stubborn and a most ungentlemanlike man," said Mrs. 
Proudie, as soon as the door was closed behind the retreating rural 
dean. " I do not think that in the whole course of my life I ever met 
with any one so insubordinate and so ill-mannered. He is worse than 
the archdeacon." As she uttered these words she paced about the room. 
The bishop said nothing ; and when she herself had been silent for a 



38 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAKSET. 

few minutes she turned upon him. " Bishop," she said, " I hope that 
you agree with me. I expect that you will agree with me in a matter 
that is of so much moment to my comfort, and I may say to my 
position generally in the diocese. Bishop, why do you not speak ? " 

" You have behaved in such a way that I do not know that I shall 
ever speak again," said the bishop. 

" What is this that you say ? " 

" I say that I do not know how I shall ever speak again. You have 
disgraced me." 

" Disgraced you ! I disgrace you ! It is you that disgrace your- 
self by saying such words." 

" Very well. Let it be so. Perhaps you will go away now and 
leave me to myself. I have got a bad headache, and I can't talk any 
more. Oh dear, oh dear, what will he think of it ! " 

" And you mean to tell me that I have been wrong ! " 

"Yes, you have been wrong, very wrong. Why didn't you go 
away when I asked you ? You are always being wrong. I wish I had 
never come to Barchester. In any other position I should not have 
felt it so much. As it is I do not know how I can ever show my 
face again." 

" Not have felt what so much, Mr. Proudie ? " said the wife, going 
back in the excitement of her anger to the nomenclature of old days. 
" And this is to be my return for all my care in your behalf! Allow 
me to tell you, sir, that in any position in which you may be placed I 
know what is due to you, and that your dignity will never lose anything 
in my hands. I wish that you were as well able to take care of it 
yourself." Then she stalked out of the room, and left the poor man 
alone. 

Bishop Proudie sat alone in his study throughout the whole day. 
Once or twice in the course of the morning his chaplain came to him on 
some matter of business, and was answered with a smile, the peculiar 
softness of which the chaplain did not fail to attribute to the right 
cause. For it was soon known throughout the household that there had 
been a quarrel. Could he quite have made up his mind to do so, 
could he have resolved that it would be altogether better to quarrel with 
his wife, the bishop would have appealed to the chaplain, and have 
asked at any rate for sympathy. But even yet he could not bring him- 
self to confess his misery, and to own himself to another to be the 
wretch that he was. Then during the long hours of the day he sat 
thinking of it all. How happy could he be if it were only possible for 
him to go away, and become even a curate in a parish, without his 



DE. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 39 

wife ! Would there ever come to kirn a time of freedom ? Would 
she ever die ? He was older than she, and of course he would die 
first. Would it not be a fine thing if he could die at once, and thus 
escape from his misery ? 

What could he do, even supposing himself strong enough to fight 
the battle ? He could not lock her up. He could not even very well 
lock her out of his room. She was his wife, and must have the run of 
his house. He could not altogether debar her from the society of the 
diocesan clergymen. He had, on this very morning, taken strong 
measures with her. More than once or twice he had desired her to 
leave the room. What was there to be done with a woman who would 
not obey her husband, who would not even leave him to the perform- 
ance of his own work ? What a blessed thing it would be if a bishop 
could go away from his home to his work every day like a clerk in a 
public office, as a stone-mason does ! But there was no such escape 
for him. He could not go away. And how was he to meet her again 
on this very day ? 

And then for hours he thought of Dr. Tempest and Mr. Crawley, 
considering what he had better do to repair the shipwreck of the 
morning. At last he resolved that he would write to the doctor ; and 
before he had again seen his wife, he did write his letter, and he sent 
it off. In this letter he made no direct allusion to the occurrence of 
the morning, but wrote as though there had not been any fixed 
intention of a personal discussion between them. "I think it will be 
better that there should be a commission," he said, " and I would 
suggest that you should have four other clergymen with you. Perhaps 
you will select two yourself out of your rural deanery ; and, if you do 
not object, I will name as the other two Mr. Thumble and Mr. Quiver- 
ful, who are both resident in the city." As he wrote these two names 
he felt ashamed of himself, knowing that he had chosen the two men as 
being special friends of his wife, and feeling that he should have been 
brave enough to throw aside all considerations of his wife's favour, 
especially at this moment, in which he was putting on his armour to do 
battle against her. "It is not probable," he continued to say in his 
letter, " that you will be able to make your report until after the triai 
of this unfortunate gentleman shall have taken place, and a verdict shall 
have been given. Should he be acquitted, that, I imagine, should end the 
matter. There can be no reason why we should attempt to go beyond 
the verdict of a jury. But should he be found guilty, I think we ought 
to be ready with such steps as it will be becoming for us to take at the 
expiration of any sentence which may be pronounced. It will be, at 



40 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

any rate, expedient that in such case the matter should be brought 
before an ecclesiastical court." He knew well as he wrote this, that 
he was proposing something much milder than the course intended by 
his wife when she had instigated him to take proceedings in the matter ; 
but he did not much regard that now. Though he had been weak 
enough to name certain clergymen as assessors with the rural dean, 
because he thought that by doing so he would to a certain degree 
conciliate his wife, though he had been so far a coward, yet he was 
resolved that he would not sacrifice to her his own judgment and his 
own conscience in his manner of proceeding. He kept no copy of his 
letter, so that he might be unable to show her his very words when she 
should ask to see them. Of course he would tell her what he had done ; 
but in telling her he would keep to himself what he had said as to the 
result of an acquittal in a civil court. She need not yet be told that he 
had promised to take such a verdict as sufficing also for an ecclesiastical 
acquittal. In this spirit his letter was written and sent off before he 
again saw his wife. 

He did not meet her till they came together in the drawing-room 
before dinner. In explaining the whole truth as to circumstances as they 
existed at the palace at that moment, it must be acknowledged that 
Mrs. Proudie herself, great as was her courage, and wide as were the 
resources which she possessed within herself, was somewhat appalled by 
the position of affairs. I fear that it may now be too late for me to excite 
much sympathy in the mind of any reader on behalf of Mrs. Proudie. 
I shall never be able to make her virtues popular. But she had virtues, 
and their existence now made her unhappy. She did regard the dignity 
of her husband, and she felt at the present moment that she had 
almost compromised it. She did also regard the welfare of the clergy- 
men around her, thinking of course in a general way that certain of 
them who agreed with her were the clergymen whose welfare should be 
studied, and that certain of them who disagreed with her were the 
clergymen whose welfare should be postponed. But now an idea made 
its way into her bosom that she was not perhaps doing the best for the 
welfare of the diocese generally. What if it should come to pass that 
all the clergymen of the diocese should refuse to open their mouths in 
her presence on ecclesiastical subjects, as Dr. Tempest had done ? This 
special day was not one on which she was well contented with herself, 
though by no means on that account was her anger mitigated against 
the offending rural dean. 

During dinner she struggled to say a word or two to her husband, 
as though there had been no quarrel between them. With him the 



BE. TEMPEST AT THE PALACE. 41 

matter tad gone so deep that he could not answer her in the same 
spirit. There were sundry members of the family present, daughters, 
and a son-in-law, and a daughter's friend who was staying with them ; 
but even in the hope of appearing to be serene before them he could 
not struggle through his deep despondence. He was very silent, and 
to his wife's words he answered hardly anything. He was courteous 
and gentle with them all, but he spoke as little as was possible, and 
during the evening he sat alone, with his head leaning on his hand, 
not pretending even to read. He was aware that it was too late to make 
even an attempt to conceal his misery and his disgrace from his 
own family. 

His wife came to him that night in his dressing-room in a spirit of 
feminine softness that was very unusual with her. " My dear," said 
she, " let us forget what occurred this morning. If there has been any 
anger we are bound as Christians to forget it." She stood over him as 
she spoke, and put her hand upon his shoulder almost caressingly. 

" When a man's heart is broken, he cannot forget it," was his reply. 
She still stood by him, and still kept her hand upon him ; but she could 
think of no other words of comfort to say. " I will go to bed," he 
said. " It is the best place for me." Then she left him, and he went 
to bed. 



CHAPTER XLVIII. 
THE SOFTNESS OF SIR EAFFLE BVFFLE. 

WE have seen that John Eames was prepared to start on his journey 
in search of the Arabins, and have seen him after he had taken farewell 
of his office and of his master there, previous to his departure ; but 
that matter of his departure had not been arranged altogether with 
comfort as far as his official interests were concerned. He had been 
perhaps a little abrupt in his mode of informing Sir Raffle Buffle that 
there was a pressing cause for his official absence, and Sir Raffle had 
replied to him that no private pressure could be allowed to interfere 
with his public duties. " I must go, Sir Raffle, at any rate," Johnny 
had said ; " it ie a matter affecting my family, and must not be 
neglected." " If you intend to go without leave," said Sir Raffle, " I 
presume you will first put your resignation into the hands of Mr. Kiss- 
ing." Now, Mr. Kissing was the secretary to the Board. This had 

n. xvni. o o 



42 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 

been serious undoubtedly. John Eames was not specially anxious to 
keep his present position as private secretary to Sir Raffle, but he 
certainly had no desire to give up his profession altogether. He said 
nothing more to the great man on that occasion, but before he left the 
office he wrote a private note to the chairman expressing the extreme 
importance of his business, and begging that he might have leave of 
absence. On the next morning he received it back with a very few words 
written across it. " It can't be done," were the very few words which 
Sir Raffle Buffle had written across the note from his private secretary. 
Here was a difficulty which Johnny had not anticipated, and which 
seemed to be insuperable. Sir Raffle would not have answered him 
in that strain if he had not been very much in earnest. 

" I should send him a medical certificate," said Cradell, his friend 
of old. 

" Nonsense," said Eames. 

"I don't see that it's nonsense at all. They can't get over a 
medical certificate from a respectable man; and everybody has got 
something the matter with him of some kind." 

" I should go and let him do his worst," said Fisher, who was 
another clerk. " It wouldn't be more than putting you down a place 
or two. As to losing your present berth you don't mind that, and they 
would never think of dismissing you." 

" But I do mind being put down a place or two," said Johnny, 
who could net forget that were he so put down his friend Fisher would 
gain the step which he would lose. 

" I should give him a barrel of oysters, and talk to him about the 
' Chancellor of the Exchequer," said FitzHoward, who had been private 
secretary to Sir Raffle before Eames, and might therefore be supposed 
to know the man. 

" That might have done very well if I had not asked him and been 
refused first," said John Eames. " I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll write 
a long letter on a sheet of foolscap paper, with a regular margin, so 
that it must come before the Board, and perhaps that will frighten him. 

When he mentioned his difficulty on that evening to Mr. Toogood, 
the lawyer begged him to give up the journey. " It will only be 
sending a clerk, and it won't cost so very much after all," said 
Toogood. But Johnny's pride could not allow him to give way. " I'm 
not going to be done about it," said he. " I'm not going to resign, 
but I will go even though they may dismiss me. I don't think it will 
come to that, but if it does it must." His uncle begged of him not to 
think of such an alternative ; but this discussion took place after dinner, 



THE SOFTNESS OF SIR BAFFLE BUFFLE. 43 

and away from the office, and Eames would not submit to bow his 
neck to authority. "If it conies to that," said he, "a fellow might 
as well be a slave at once. And what is the use of a fellow having a 
little money if it does not make him independent ? You may be sure 
of one thing, I shall go ; and that on the day fixed." 

On the next morning John Eames was very silent when he went 
into Sir Raffle's room at the office. There was now only this day and 
another before that fixed for his departure, and it was of course very 
necessary that matters should be arranged. But he said nothing to 
Sir Baffle during the morning. The great man himself was con- 
descending and endeavoured to be kind. He knew that his stern 
refusal had greatly irritated his private secretary, and was anxious to 
show that, though in the cause of public duty he was obliged to be stern, 
he was quite willing to forget his sternness when the necessity for it had 
passed away. On this morning, therefore, he was very cheery. But 
to all his cheery good-humour John Eames would make no response. 
Late in the afternoon, when most of the men had left the office, Johnny 
appeared before the chairman for the last time that day with a very 
long face. He was dressed in black, and had changed his ordinary 
morning coat for a frock, which gave him an appearance altogether 
unlike that which was customary to him. And he spoke almost in 
a whisper, very slowly; and when Sir Baffle joked, and Sir Baffle 
often would joke, he not only did not laugh, but he absolutely sighed. 
" Is there anything the matter with you, Eames ? " asked Sir Baffle. 

" I am in great trouble," said John Eames. 

" And what is your trouble ? " 

"It is essential for the honour of one of my family that I should 
be at Florence by this day week. I cannot make up my mind what 
I ought to do. I do not wish to lose my position in the public service, 
to which, as you know, I am warmly attached '; but I cannot submit 
to see the honour of my family sacrificed ! ' ' 

"Eames," said Sir Baffle, "that must be nonsense; that must 
be nonsense. There can be no reason why you should always expect 
to have your own way in everything." 

" Of course if I go without leave I shall be dismissed." 

" Of course you will. It is out of the question that a young man 
should take the bit between his teeth in that way." 

" As for taking the bit between his teeth, Sir Baffle, I do not 
think that any man was ever more obedient, perhaps I should say 
more submissive, than I have been. But there must be a limit to 
everything." 



44 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BAESET. 

" What do you mean by that, Mr. Eames ? " said Sir Kaffle, turning 
in anger upon his private secretary. But Johnny disregarded his 
anger. Johnny, indeed, had made up his mind that Sir Kaffle should 
be very angry. " What do you mean, Mr. Eames, by saying that there 
must be a limit ? I know nothing about limits. One would suppose 
that you intended to make an accusation against me." 

" So I do. I think, Sir Raffle, that you are treating me with great 
cruelty. I have explained to you that family circumstances " 

" You have explained nothing, Mr. Eames." 

" Yes, I have, Sir Raffle. I have explained to you that matters 
relating to my family, which materially affect the honour of a certain 
one of its members, demand that I should go at once to Florence. You 
tell me that if I go I shall be dismissed." 

" Of course you must not go without leave. I never heard of such 
a thing in all my life." And Sir Raffle lifted up his hands towards 
heaven, almost in dismay. 

" So I have drawn up a short statement of the circumstances, which 
I hope may be read at the Board when the question of my dismissal 
comes before it." 

" You mean to go, then ? " 

" Yes, Sir Raffle ; I must go. The honour of a certain branch of 
my family demands that I should do so. As I have for some time been 
so especially under you, I thought it would be proper to show you what 
I have said before I send my letter in, and therefore I have brought it 
with me. Here it is." And Johnny handed to Sir Raffle an official 
document of large dimensions. 

Sir Raffle began to be uncomfortable. He had acquired a character 
for tyranny in the public service of which he was aware, though he 
thought that he knew well that he had never deserved it. Some official 
big- wig, perhaps that Chancellor of the Exchequer of whom he was 
so fond, had on one occasion hinted to him that a little softness of 
usage would be compatible with the prejudices of the age. Softness 
was impossible to Sir Raffle ; but his temper was sufficiently under his 
control to enable him to encounter the rebuke, and to pull himself up 
from time to time when he found himself tempted to speak loud and to 
take things with a high hand. He knew that a clerk should not be 
dismissed for leaving his office, who could show that his absence had 
been caused by some matter really affecting the interest of his family ; 
and that were he to drive Eames to go on this occasion without leave, 
Eames would be simply called in to state what was this matter of 
moment which had taken him away. Probably he had stated that 



THE SOFTNESS OF SIR RAFFLE BUFFLE. 45 

matter of moment in this very document which Sir Raffle was holding 
in his hand. But Sir Raffle was not willing to be conquered by the 
document. If it was necessary that he should give way, he would 
much prefer to give way, out of his own good-nature, let us say, 
without looking at the document at all. " I must, under the circum- 
stances, decline to read this," said he, "unless it should come before 
me officially," and he handed back the paper. 

"I thought it best to let you see it if you pleased," said John 
Eames. Then he turned round as though he were going to leave the 
room ; but suddenly he turned back again. " I don't like to leave you, 
Sir Raffle, without saying good-by. I do not suppose we shall meet 
again. Of course you must do your duty, and I do not wish you to 
think that I have any personal ill-will against you." So saying, he put 
out his hand to Sir Raffle as though to take a final farewell. Sir 
Raffle looked at him in amazement. He was dressed, as has been 
said, in black, and did not look like the John Eames of every day to 
whom Sir Raffle was accustomed. 

" I don't understand this at all," said Sir Raffle. 
" I was afraid that it was only too plain," said John Eames. 
" And you must go ? " 

" Oh, yes ; that's certain. I have pledged myself to go." 
" Of course I don't know anything of this matter that is so important 
to your family." 

" No ; you do not," said Johnny. 

" Can't you explain it to me, then ? so that I may have some 
reason, if there is any reason." 

Then John told the story of Mr. Crawley, a considerable portion 
of the story ; and in his telling of it, I think it probable that he put 
more weight upon the necessity of his mission to Italy than it could have 
fairly been made to bear. In the course of the narration Sir Raffle did 
once contrive to suggest that a lawyer by going to Florence might do 
the business at any rate as well as John Eames. But Johnny denied 
this. " No, Sir Raffle, it is impossible; quite impossible," he said. 
" If you saw the lawyer who is acting in the matter, Mr. Toogood, who 
is also my uncle, he would tell you the same." Sir Raffle had already 
heard something of the story of Mr. Crawley, and was now willing to 
accept the sad tragedy of that case as an excuse for his private secre- 
tary's somewhat insubordinate conduct. " Under the circumstances, 
Eames, I suppose you must go ; but I think you should have told me 
all about it before." 

" I did not like to trouble you, Sir Raffle, with private business." 



46 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" It is always best to tell the whole of a story," said Sir Baffle. 
Johnny being quite content with the upshot of the negotiations accepted 
this gentle rebuke in silence, and withdrew. On the next day he 
appeared again at the office in his ordinary costume, and an idea 
crossed Sir Raffle's brain that he had been partly " done " by the 
affectation of a costume. " I'll be even with him some day yet," said 
Sir Raffle to himself. 

"I've got my leave, boys," said Eames when he went out into the 
room in which his three friends sat. 

11 No ! " said Cradell. 

" But I have," said Johnny. 

" You don't mean that old Huffle Scuffle has given it out of his own 
head?" said Fisher. 

" Indeed he has," said Johnny ; " and bade God bless me into 
the bargain." 

" And you didn't give him the oysters ? " said FitzHoward. 

" Not a shell," said Johnny. 

" I'm blessed if you don't beat cock-fighting," said Cradell, lost in 
admiration at his friend's adroitness. 

We know how John passed his evening after that. He went first to 
see Lily Dale at her uncle's lodgings in Sackville Street, from thence he 
was taken to the presence of the charming Madalina in Porchester 
Terrace, and then wound up the night with his friend Conway Dalrymple. 
When he got to his bed he felt himself to have been triumphant, but 
in spite of his triumph he was ashamed of himself. Why had he left 
Lily to go to Madalina ? As he thought of this he quoted to himself 
against himself Hamlet's often-quoted appeal to the two portraits. 
How could he not despise himself in that he could find any pleasure 
with Madalina, having a Lily Dale to fill his thoughts ? " But she is 
not fair for me," he said to himself, thinking thus to comfort himself. 
But he did not comfort himself. 

On the next morning early his uncle, Mr. Toogood, met him at the 
Dover Railway Station. "Upon my word, Johnny, you're a clever 
fellow," said he. " I never thought that you'd make it all right with 
Sir Raffle." 

"As right as a trivet, uncle. There are some people, if you can 
only get to learn the length of their feet, you can always fit them with 
shoes afterwards." 

" You'll go on direct to Florence, Johnny ? " 

" Yes ; I think so. From what we have heard, Mrs. Arabin 
must be either there or at Venice, and I don't suppose I could 




'AS RIGHT AS A TRIVET, UNCLE. 



THE SOFTNESS OF SIR RAFFLE BUFFLE. 47 

learn from any one at Paris at which town she is staying at this 
moment." 

" Her address is Florence ; poste restante, Florence. You will 
be sure to find out at any of the hotels where she is staying, or where 
she has been staying." 

" But when I have found her, I don't suppose she can tell me any- 
thing," said Johnny. 

" Who can tell ? She may or she may not. My belief is that the 
money was her present altogether, and not his. It seems that they 
don't mix their moneys. He has always had some scruple about it 
because of her son by a former marriage, and they always have 
different accounts at their bankers'. I found that out when I was at 
Barchester." 

" But Crawley was his friend." 

" Yes, Crawley was his friend ; but I don't know that fifty-pound 
notes have always been so very plentiful with him. Deans' incomes 
ain't what they were, you know." 

" I don't know anything about that," said Johnny. 

" Well ; they are not. And he has nothing of his own, as far as I 
can learn. It would be just the thing for her to do, to give the 
money to his friend. At any rate she will tell you whether it was so 
or not." 

" And then I will go on to Jerusalem, after him." 

" Should you find it necessary. He will probably be on his way 
back, and she will know where you can hit him on the road. You 
must make him understand that it is essential that he should be here 
some little time before the trial. You can understand, Johnny," and 
as he spoke Mr. Toogood lowered his voice to a whisper, though they 
were walking together on the platform of the railway station, and could 
not possibly have been overheard by any one. " You can understand 
that it may be necessary to prove that he is not exactly compos mentis, 
and if so it will be essential that he should have some influential friend 
near him. Otherwise that bishop will trample him into dust." If 
Mr. Toogood could have seen the bishop at this time and have read the 
troubles of the poor man's heart, he would hardly have spoken of him as 
being so terrible a tyrant. 

"I understand all that," said Johnny. 

" So that, in fact, I shall expect to see you both together," said 
Toogood. 

" I hope the dean is a good fellow." 

" They tell me he is a very good fellow." 



48 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BABSET. 

" I never did see much of bishops or deans as yet," said Johnny, 
" and I should feel rather awe -struck travelling with one." 

" I should fancy that a dean is very much like anybody else." 

" But the man's hat would cow me." 

" I daresay you'll find him walking about Jerusalem with a wide- 
awake on, and a big stick in his hand, probably smoking a cigar. Deans 
contrive to get out of their armour sometimes, as the knights of old 
used to do. Bishops, I fancy, find it more difficult. Well ; good-by, 
old fellow. I'm very much obliged to you for going, I am, indeed. 
I don't doubt but what we shall pull through, somehow." 

Then Mr. Toogood went home to breakfast, and from his own house 
he proceeded to his office. When he had been there an hour or two, 
there came to him a messenger from the Income-tax Office, with an 
official note addressed to himself by Sir Raffle Buffle, a note which 
looked to be very official. Sir Raffle Buffle presented his compliments 
to Mr. Toogood, and could Mr. Toogood favour Sir R. B. with the 
present address of Mr. John Eames. " Old fox," said Mr. Toogood; 
" but then such a stupid old fox ! As if it was likely that I should 
have peached on Johnny if anything was wrong." So Mr. Toogood 
sent his compliments to Sir Raffle Buffle, and begged to inform Sir 
R. B. that Mr. John Eames was away on very particular family busi- 
ness, which would take him in the first instance to Florence ; but that 
from Florence he would probably have to go on to Jerusalem without 
the loss of an hour. " Stupid old fool ! " said Mr. Toogood, as he sent 
off his reply by the messenger. 



CHAPTER XLIX. 



NEAR THE CLOSE. 

WONDER whether any one will 
read these pages who has never 
known anything of the bitter- 
ness of a family quarrel ? If 
so, I shall have a reader very 
fortunate, or else very cold- 
blooded. It would be wrong 
to say that love produces quar- 
rels ; but love does produce 
those intimate relations of which 
quarrelling is too often one of 
the consequences, one of the 
consequences which frequently 
seem to be so natural, and 
sometimes seem to be unavoid- 
able. One brother rebukes the 
other, and what brothers ever 
lived together between whom 
there was no such rebuking ? then some warm word is misunder- 
stood and Jiotter words follow and there is a quarrel. The husband 
tyrannizes, knowing that it is his duty to direct, and the wife dis- 
obeys, or only partially obeys, thinking that a little independence 
will become her, and so there is a quarrel. The father, anxious 
only for his son's good, looks into that son's future with other eyes 
than those of his son himself, and so there is a quarrel. They come 
very easily, these quarrels, but the quittance from them is sometimes 
terribly difficult. Much of thought is necessary before the angry man 
can remember that he too in part may have been wrong; and any 
attempt at such thinking is almost beyond the power of him who is 
carefully nursing his wrath, lest it cool ! But the nursing of such 
quarrelling kills all happiness. The very man who is nursing his wrath, 
lest it cool, his wrath against one whom he loves perhaps the best of 
all whom it has been given him to love, is himself wretched as long 
as it lasts. His anger poisons every pleasure of his life. He is sullen 
H.- xrx. P P 




50 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

at his meals, and cannot understand his book as he turns its pages. 
His work, let it be what it may, is ill done. He is full of his quarrel, 
nursing it. He is telling himself how much he has loved that wicked 
one, how many have been his sacrifices for that wicked one, and that 
now that wicked one is repaying him simply with wickedness ! And 
yet the wicked one is at that very moment dearer to him than ever. 
If that wicked one could only be forgiven how sweet would the world 
be again ! And yet he nurses his wrath. 

So it was in these daj T s with Archdeacon Grantly. He was very- 
angry with his son. It is hardly too much to say that in every moment 
of his life, whether waking or sleeping, he was thinking of the injury 
that his son was doing him. He had almost come to forget the fact 
that his anger had first been roused by the feeling that his son was 
about to do himself an injury, to cut his own throat. Various other 
considerations had now added themselves to that, and filled not only 
his mind but his daily conversation with his wife. How terrible would 
be the disgrace to Lord Hartletop, how incurable the injury to Griselda, 
the marchioness, should the brother-in-law of the one, and the brother 
of the other, many the daughter of a convicted thief ! "Of himself he 
would say nothing." So he declared constantly, though of himself he 
did say a great deal. " Of himself he would say nothing, though of 
course such a marriage would ruin him in the county." " My dear," 
said his wife, " that is nonsense. That really is nonsense. I feel sure 
there is not a single person in the county who would think of the 
marriage in such a light." Then the archdeacon would have quarrelled 
with his wife too, had she not been too wise to admit such a quarrel. 
Mrs. Grantly was very wise and knew that it took two persons to make 
a quarrel. He told her over and over again that she was in league 
with her son, that she was encouraging her son to marry Grace 
Crawley. "I believe that in your heart you wish it," he once said to 
her. " No, my dear, I do not wish it. I do not think it a becoming 
marriage. But if he does marry her, I should wish to receive his 
wife in my house, and certainly should not quarrel with him." " I will 
never receive her," the archdeacon had replied ; " and as for him, I can 
only say that in such case I will make no provision for his family." 

It will be remembered that the archdeacon had on a former occasion 
instructed his wife to write to their son and tell him of his father's 
determination. Mrs. Grantly had so manreuvred that a little time had 
been gained, and that those instructions had not been insisted upon in 
all their bitterness. Since that time Major Grantly had renewed his 
assurance that he would marry Grace Crawley if Grace Crawley would 



NEAB THE CLOSE, 51 

accept him, writing on this occasion direct to his father, and had 
asked his father whether, in such case, he was to look forward to be 
disinherited. "It is essential that I should know," the major had 
said, " because in such case I must take immediate measures for 
leaving this place." His father had sent him back his letter, writing 
a few words at the bottom of it. ' ' If you do as you propose above, 
you must expect nothing from me." The words were written in large 
round handwriting, veiy hurriedly, and the son when he received them 
perfectly understood the mood of his father's mind when he wrote them. 
Then there came tidings, addressed on this occasion to Mrs. Grantly, 
that Cosby Lodge was to be given up. Lady-day had come, and the 
notice, necessarily to be given at that period, was so given. " J know 
this will grieve you," Major Grantly had said, "but my father has 
driven me to it." This, in itself, was a cause of great sorrow, both to 
the archdeacon and to Mrs. Grantly, as there were circumstances 
connected with Cosby Lodge which made them think that it was a 
very desirable residence for their son. "I shall sell everything about 
the place and go abroad at once," he said in a subsequent letter. " My 
present idea is that I shall settle myself at Pau, as my income will 
suffice for me to live there, and education for Edith will be cheap. At 
any rate I will not continue in England. I could never be happy here 
in circumstances so altered. Of course I should not have left my 
profession, unless I had understood from my father that the income 
arising from it would not be necessary to me. I do not, however, 
mean to complain, but simply tell you that I shall go." There were 
many letters between the mother and son in those days. "I shall stay 
till after the trial," he said. "If she will then go with me, well and 
good ; but whether she will or not, I shall not remain here." All this 
seemed to Mrs. Grantly to be peculiarly unfortunate, for, had he not 
resolved to go, things might even yet have righted themselves. From 
what she could now understand of the character of Miss Crawley, whom 
she did not know personally, she thought it probable that Grace, in 
the event of her father being found guilty by the jury, would absolutely 
and persistently refuse the offer made to her. She would be too good, 
as Mrs. Grantly put it to herself, to bring misery and disgrace into 
another family. But should Mr. Crawley be acquitted, and should 
the marriage then take place, the archdeacon himself might probably 
be got to forgive it. In either case there would be no necessity for 
breaking up the house at Cosby Lodge. But her dear son Henry, her 
best beloved, was obstinate and stiff-necked, and would take no advice. 
" He is even worse than his father," she said, in her short-lived anger, 

p p 2 



52 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

to her own father, to whom alone at this time she could unburden her 
griefs, seeking consolation and encouragement. 

It was her habit to go over to the deanery at any rate twice a week 
at this time, and on the occasion of one of the visits so made, she 
expressed very strongly her distress at the family quarrel which had 
come among them. The old man took his grandson's part through 
and through. " I do not at all see why he should not marry the 
young lady if he likes her. As for money, there ought to be enough 
without his having to look for a wife with a fortune." 

" It is not a question of money, papa." 

" And as to rank," continued Mr. Harding, " Henry will not at 
any rate be going lower than his father did when he married you ; not 
so low indeed, for at that time I was only a minor canon, and Mr. 
Crawley is in possession of a benefice." 

"Papa, all that is nonsense. It is, indeed." 

" Very likely, my dear." 

" It is not because Mr. Crawley is only perpetual curate of Hoggle- 
stock, that the archdeacon objects to the marriage. It has nothing to 
do with that at all. At the present moment he is in disgrace." 

" Under a cloud, my dear. Let us pray that it may be only a 
passing cloud." 

" All the world thinks that he was guilty. And then he is such a 
man : so singular, so unlike anybody else ! You know, papa, that I 
don't think very much of money, merely as money." 

" I hope not, my dear. Money is worth thinking of, but it is not 
worth very much thought." 

" But it does give advantages, and the absence of such advantages 
must be very much felt in the education of a girl. You would hardly 
wish Henry to marry a young woman who, from want of money, 
had not been brought up among ladies. It is not Miss Crawley's 
fault, but such has been her lot. We cannot ignore these deficiencies, 
papa." 

" Certainly not, my dear." 

" You would not, for instance, wish that Henry should marry a 
kitchen-maid." 

" But is Miss Crawley a kitchen-maid, Susan ? " 

" I don't quite say that." 

" I am told that she has been educated infinitely better than most 
of the young ladies in the neighbourhood," said Mr. Harding. 

"I believe that her father has taught her Greek; and I suppose 
she has learned something of French at that school at Silverbridge." 



NEAR THE CLOSE. 53 

"Then the kitchen-maid theory is sufficiently disposed of," said 
Mr. Harding, with mild triumph. 

" You know what I mean, papa. But the fact is, that it is impos- 
sible to deal with men. They will never be reasonable. A marriage 
such as this would be injurious to Henry ; but it will not be ruinous ; 
and as to disinheriting him for it, that would be downwright wicked." 

" I think so," said Mr. Harding. 

"But the archdeacon will look at it as though it would destroy 
Henry and Edith altogether, while you speak of it as though it were 
the best thing in the world." 

"If the young people love each other, I think it would be the best 
thing in the world," said Mr. Harding. 

" But, papa, you cannot but think that his father's wish should go 
for something," said Mrs. Grantly, who, desirous as she was on the one 
side to support her son, could not bear that her husband should, on 
the other side, be declared to be altogether in the wrong. 

"I do not know, my dear," said Mr. Harding; "but I do think, 
that if the two young people are fond of each other, and if there is 
anything for them to live upon, it cannot be right to keep them apart. 
You know, my dear, she is the daughter of a gentleman." Mrs. Grantly 
upon this left her father almost brusquely, without speaking another 
word on the subject; for, though she was opposed to the vehement 
anger of her husband, she could not endure the proposition now made 
by her father. 

Mr. Harding was at this time living all alone in the deanery. For 
some few years the deanery had been his home, and as his youngest 
daughter was th dean's wife, there could be no more comfortable 
resting-place for the evening of his life. During the last month or two 
the days had gone tediously with him ; for he had had the large house 
all to himself, and he was a man who did not love solitude. It is hard 
to conceive that the old, whose thoughts have been all thought out, 
should ever love to live alone. Solitude is surely for the young, who have 
time before them for the execution of schemes, and who can, therefore, 
take delight in thinking. In these days the poor old man would 
wander about the rooms, shambling from one chamber to another, and 
would feel ashamed when the servants met him ever on the move. He 
would make little apologies for his uneasiness, which they would accept 
graciously, understanding, after a fashion, why it was that he was 
uneasy. "He ain't got nothing to do," said the housemaid to the 
cook, " and as for reading, they say that some of the young ones can 
read all day sometimes, and all night too ; but, bless you, when you're 



54 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

nigh eighty, reading don't go for much." The housemaid was right as 
to Mr. Harding's reading. He was not one who had read so much in 
his earlier days as to enable him to make reading go far with him now 
that he was near eighty. So he wandered about the room, and sat 
here for a few minutes, and there for a few minutes, and though he did 
not sleep much, he made the hours of the night as many as was pos- 
sible. Every morning he shambled across from the deanery to the 
cathedral, and attended the morning service, sitting in the stall which 
he had occupied for fifty years. The distance was very short, not 
exceeding, indeed, a hundred yards from a side- door in the deanery 
to another side-door into the cathedral ; but short as it was there had 
come to be a question whether he should be allowed to go alone. It 
had been feared that he might fall on his passage and hurt himself ; for 
there was a step here, and a step there, and the light was not very 
good in the purlieus of the old cathedral. A word or two had been 
said once, and the offer of an arm to help him had been made ; but he 
had rejected the proffered assistance, softly, indeed, but still firmly, 
and every day he tottered off by himself, hardly lifting his feet as he 
went, and aiding himself on his journey by a hand upon the wall when 
he thought that nobody was looking at him. But many did see him, 
and they who knew him, ladies generally of the city, would offer 
him a hand. Nobody was milder in his dislikings than Mr. Harding ; 
but there were ladies in Barchester upon whose arm he would 
always decline to lean, bowing courteously as he did so, and saying a 
word or two of constrained civility. There were others whom he would 
allow to accompany him home to the door of the deanery, with whom 
he delighted to linger and chat if the morning was warm, and to whom 
he would tell little stories of his own doings in the cathedral services in 
the old days, when Bishop Grantly had ruled in the diocese. Never a 
word did he say against Bishop Proudie, or against Bishop Proudie's 
wife ; but the many words which he did say in praise of Bishop 
Grantly, who, by his showing, was surely one of the best of church- 
men who ever walked through this vale of sorrow, were as eloquent 
in dispraise of the existing prelate as could have been any more clearly- 
pointed phrases. This daily visit to the cathedral, where he would say 
his prayers as he had said them for so many years, and listen to the 
organ, of which he knew all the power and every blemish as though he 
himself had made the stops and fixed the pipes, was the chief occupa- 
tion of his life. It was a pity that it could not have been made to cover 
a larger portion of the day. 

It was sometimes sad enough to watch him as he sat alone. He 



NEAB THE CLOSE. 55 

would have a book near him, and for a while would keep it in his 
hands. It would generally be some volume of good old standard 
theology with which he had been, or supposed himself to have been, 
conversant from his youth. But the book would soon be laid aside, 
and gradually he would move himself away from it, and he would stand 
about in the room, looking now out of a window from which he would 
fancy that he could not be seen, or gazing up at some print which he 
had known for years ; and then he would sit down for a while in one 
chair, and for a while in another, while his mind was wandering back 
into old days, thinking of old troubles and remembering his old joys. 
And he had a habit, when he was sure that he was not watched, of 
creeping up to a great black wooden case, which always stood in one 
comer of the sitting-room which he occupied in the deanery. Mr. 
Harding, when he was younger, had been a performer on the violon- 
cello, and in this case there was still the instrument from which he had 
been wont to extract the sounds which he had so dearly loved. Now 
in these latter days he never made any attempt to play. Soon after 
he had come to the deaneiy there had fallen upon him an illness, and 
after that he had never again asked for his bow. They who were around 
him, his daughter chiefly and her husband, had given the matter 
much thought, arguing with themselves whether or no it would be 
better to invite him to resume the task he had so loved ; for of all the 
works of his life this playing on the violoncello had been the sweetest 
to him ; but even before that illness his hand had greatly failed him, 
and the dean and Mrs. Arabin had agreed that it would be better to let 
the matter pass without a word. He had never asked to be allowed to 
play. He had expressed no regrets. When he himself would propose 
that his daughter should "give them a little music," and he would 
make such a proposition on every evening that was suitable, he would 
never say a word of those former performances at which he himself had 
taken a part. But it had become known to Mrs. Arabin, through the 
servants, that he had once dragged the instrument forth from its case 
when he had thought the house to be nearly deserted ; and a wail of 
sounds had been heard, very low, very short-lived, recurring now and 
again at fitful intervals. He had at those times attempted to play, as 
though with a muffled bow, so that none should know of his vanity 
and folly. Then there had been further consultations at the deanery, 
and it had been again agreed that it would be best to say nothing to 
him of his music. 

In these latter days of which I am now speaking he would never 
draw the instrument out of its case. Indeed he was aware that it was 



56 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BARSET. 

too heavy for him to handle without assistance. But he would open 
the prison door, and gaze upon the thing that he loved, and he would 
pass his fingers among the broad strings, and ever and anon he would 
produce from one of them a low, melancholy, almost unearthly sound. 
And then he would pause, never daring to produce two such notes in 
succession, one close upon the other. And these last sad moans of 
the old fiddle were now known through the household. They were the 
ghosts of the melody of days long past. He imagined that his visits to 
the box were unsuspected, that none knew of the folly of his old 
fingers which could not keep themselves from touching the wires ; but 
the voice of the violoncello had been recognized by the servants and by 
his daughter, and when that low wail was heard through the house, 
like the last dying note of a dirge, they would all know that Mr. Harding 
was visiting his ancient friend. 

When the dean and Mrs. Arabin had first talked of going abroad 
for a long visit, it had been understood that Mr. Harding should pass 
the period of their absence with his other daughter at Plumstead ; but 
when the time came he begged of Mrs. Arabin to be allowed to remain 
in his old rooms. " Of course I shall go backwards and forwards," he 
had said. " There is nothing I like so much as a change now and 
then." The result had been that he had gone once to Plumstead 
during the dean's absence. When he had thus remonstrated, begging 
to be allowed to remain in Barchester, Mrs. Arabin had declared her 
intention of giving up her tour. In telling her father of this she had 
not said that her altered purpose had arisen from her disinclination to 
leave him alone ; but he had perceived that it was so, and had then 
consented to be taken over to Plumstead. There was nothing, he said, 
which he would like so much as going over to Plumstead for four or 
five months. It had ended in his having his own way altogether. 
The Arabins had gone upon their tour, and he was left in possession of 
the deanery. " I should not like to die out of Barchester," he said to 
himself in excuse to himself for his disinclination to sojourn long under 
the archdeacon's roof. But, in truth, the archdeacon, who loved him 
well and who, after a fashion, had always been good to him, who had 
always spoken of the connexion which had bound the two families toge- 
ther as the great blessing of his life, was too rough in his greetings for 
the old man. Mr. Harding had ever mixed something of fear with his 
warm affection for his elder son-in-law, and now in these closing hours 
of his life he could not avoid a certain amount of shrinking from that 
loud voice, a certain inaptitude to be quite at ease in that commanding 
presence. The dean, his second son-in-law, had been a modern friend 




POST AND HER GRANDPAPA. 



NEAR THE CLOSE. 57 

in comparison with the archdeacon ; but the dean was more gentle with 
him ; and then the dean's wife had ever been the dearest to him of 
human beings. It may be a doubt whether one of the dean's children 
was not now almost more dear, and whether in these days he did not 
have more free communication with that little girl than with any other 
human being. Her name was Susan, but he had always called her 
Posy, having himself invented for her that soubriquet. When it had 
been proposed to him to pass the winter and spring at Plumstead, the 
suggestion had been made alluring by a promise that Posy also should 
be taken to Mrs. Grantly's house. But he, as we have seen, had 
remained at the deanery, and Posy had remained with him. 

Posy was now five years old, and could talk well, and had her own 
ideas of things. Posy's eyes, hers, and no others besides her own, 
were allowed to see the inhabitant of the big black case ; and now that 
the deanery was so nearly deserted, Posy's fingers had touched the 
strings, and had produced an infantine moan. " Grandpa, let me do 
it again." Twang! It was not, however, in truth, a twang, but a 
sound as of a prolonged dull, almost deadly, hum-m-m-m-m ! On this 
occasion the moan was not entirely infantine, Posy's fingers having 
been something too strong, and the case was closed and locked, and 
grandpapa shook his head. 

" But Mrs. Baxter won't be angry," said Posy. Mrs. Baxter was 
the housekeeper in the deanery, and had Mr. Harding under her especial 
charge. 

" No, my darling ; Mrs. Baxter will not be angry, but we mustn't 
disturb the house." 

" No," said Posy, with much of important awe in her tone; "we 
mustn't disturb the house; must we, grandpapa ?" And so she gave 
in her adhesion to the closing of the case. But Posy could play cat's- 
cradle, and as cat's-cradle did not disturb the house at all, there was a 
good deal of cat's-cradle played in these days. Posy's fingers were so 
soft and pretty, so small and deft, that the dear old man delighted in 
taking the strings from them, and in having them taken from his own 
by those tender little digits. 

On the afternoon after the conversation respecting Grace Crawley 
which is recorded in the early part of this chapter, a messenger from 
Barchester went over to Plumstead, and a part of his mission consisted 
of a note from Mrs. Baxter to Mrs. Grantly, beginning, "Honoured 
Madam," and informing Mrs. Grantly, among other things, that her 
"respected papa," as Mrs. Baxter called him, was not quite so well as 
usual ; not that Mrs. Baxter ^thought there was much the matter. 



58 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

Mr. Harding had been to the cathedral service, as was usual with him, 
but had come home leaning on a lady's arm, who had thought it well 
to stay with him at the door till it had been opened for him. After 
that " Miss Posy " had found him asleep, and had been unable, or if 
not unable, unwilling, to wake him. "Miss Posy" had come down 
to Mrs. Baxter somewhat in a fright, and hence this letter had been 
written. Mrs. Baxter thought that there was nothing "to fright" 
Mrs. Grantly, and she wasn't sure that she should have written at all 
only that Dick was bound to go over to Plumstead with the wool ; but 
as Dick was going, Mrs. Baxter thought it proper to send her duty, and 
to say that to her humble way of thinking perhaps it might be best 
that Mr. Harding shouldn't go alone to the cathedral every morning. 
" If the dear reverend gentleman was to get a tumble, ma'am," said 
the letter, " it would be awkward." Then Mrs. Grantly remembered 
that she had left her father almost without a greeting on the previous 
day, and she resolved that she would go over very early on the following 
morning, so early that she would be at the deanery before her father 
should have gone to the cathedral. 

" He ought to have come over here, and not stayed there 
by himself," said the archdeacon, when his wife told him of her 
intention. 

" It is too late to think of that now, my dear ; and one can under- 
stand, I think, that he should not like leaving the cathedral as long 
us he can attend it. The truth is he does not like being out of 
Barchester." 

" He would be much better here," said the archdeacon. " Of 
course you can have the carriage and go over. We can breakfast at 
eight ; and if you can bring him back with you, do. I should tell 
him that he ought to come." Mrs. Grantly made no answer to this, 
knowing very well that she could not bring herself to go beyond 
the gentlest persuasion with her father, and on the next morning she 
was at the deanery by ten o'clock. Half-past ten was the hour at 
which the service began. Mrs. Baxter contrived to meet her before 
she saw her father, and begged her not to let it be known that any 
special tidings of Mr. Harding' s failing strength had been sent from 
the deanery to Plumstead. "And how is my father?" asked Mrs. 
Grantly. " Well, then, ma'am," said Baxter, " in one sense he's 
finely. He took a morsel of early lamb to his dinner yesterday, and 
relished it ever so well, only he gave Miss Posy the best part of it. 
And then he sat with Miss Posy quite happy for an hour or so. And 
then he slept in his chair ; and you know, ma'am, we never wakes him. 



NEAR THE CLOSE. 59 

Aud after that old Skulpit toddled up from the hospital," this was 
Hiram's Hospital, of which establishment, in the city of Barchester, 
Mr. Harding had once been the warden and kind master, as has been 
told informer chronicles of the city, " and your papa has said, ma'am, 
you know, that he is always to see any of the old men when they come 
up. And Skulpit is sly, and no better than he should be, and got 
money from your father, ma'am, I know. And then he had just a drop 
of tea, and after that I took him his glass of port wine with my own 
hands. And it touched me, ma'am, so it did, when he said, ' Oh, 
Mrs. Baxter, how good you are ; you know well what it is I like.' And 
then he went to bed. I listened hard, not from idle cur'osity, ma'am, 
as you, who know me, will believe, but just because it's becoming 
to know what he's about, as there might be an accident, you know, 
ma'am." "You are very good, Mrs. Baxter, very good." "Thank 
ye, ma'am, for saying so. And so I listened hard ; but he didn't go to 
his music, poor gentleman ; and I think he had a quiet night. He 
doesn't sleep much at nights, poor gentleman, but he's very quiet; 
leastwise he was last night." This was the bulletin which Mrs. Baxter 
gave to Mrs. Grantly on that morning before Mrs. Grantly saw her 
father. 

She found him preparing himself for his visit to the cathedral. Some 
year or two, but no more, before the date of which we are speaking, 
he had still taken some small part in the service ; and while he had 
done so he had of course worn his surplice. Living so close to the 
cathedral, so close that he could almost walk out of the house into the 
transept, he had kept his surplice in his own room, and had gone down 
in his vestment. It had been a bitter day to him when he had first 
found himself constrained to abandon the white garment which he 
loved. He had encountered some failure in the performance of the 
slight clerical task allotted to him, and the dean had tenderly advised 
him to desist. He did not utter one word of remonstrance. " It will 
perhaps be better," the dean had said. " Yes, it will be better," 
Mr. Harding had replied. " Few have had accorded to them the high 
privilege of serving their Master in His house for so many years, 
though few more humbly, or with lower gifts." But on the following 
morning, and for nearly a week afterwards, he had been unable to face 
the minor canon and the vergers, and the old women who knew him 
so well, in his ordinary black garments. At last he went down with 
the dean, and occupied a stall close to the dean's seat, far away from 
that in which he had sat for so many years, and in this seat he had 
said his prayers ever since that day. And now his surplices were 



60 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

washed and ironed and folded and put away ; but there were moments 
in which he would stealthily visit them, as he also stealthily visited his 
friend in the black wooden case. This was very melancholy, and the 
sadness of it was felt by all those who lived with him ; but he never 
alluded himself to any of those bereavements which age brought upon 
him. Whatever might be his regrets, he kept them ever within his 
own breast. 

Posy was with him when Mrs. Grantly went up into his room, 
holding for him his hat and stick while he was engaged in brushing a 
suspicion of dust from his black gaiters. " Grandpapa, here is aunt 
Susan," said Posy. The old man looked up with something, with 
some slightest sign of that habitual fear which was always aroused 
within his bosom by visitations from Plumstead. Had Mrs. Arabin 
thoroughly understood the difference in her father's feeling toward her- 
self and toward her sister, I think she would hardly have gone forth 
upon any tour while he remained with her in the deanery. It is very 
hard sometimes to know how intensely we are loved, and of what value 
our presence is to those who love us ! Mrs. Grantly saw the look, 
did not analyse it, did not quite understand it, but felt, as she had so 
often felt before, that it was not altogether laden with welcome. But 
all this had nothing to do with the duty on which she had come ; nor 
did it, in the slightest degree, militate against her own affection. 
"Papa," she said, kissing him, "you are surprised to see me so 
early?" 

" Well, my dear, yes ; but very glad all the same. I hope 
everybody is well at Plumstead ? " 

" Everybody, thank you, papa." 

" That is well. Posy and I are getting ready for church. Are we 
not, Posy ? " 

" Grandpapa is getting ready. Mrs. Baxter won't let me go." 

" No, my dear, no ; not yet, Posy. When Posy is a great girl she 
can go to cathedral every day. Only then, perhaps, Posy won't want 
to go." 

" I thought that, perhaps, papa, you would sit with me a little while 
this morning, instead of going to morning prayers." 

" Certainly, my dear, certainly. Only I do not like not going ; 
for who can say how often I may be able to go again ? There is so 
little left, Susan, so very little left." 

After that she had not the heart to ask him to stay, and therefore 
she went with him. As they passed down the stairs and out of the 
doors she was astonished to find how weak were his footsteps, how 



NEAR THE CLOSE. 61 

powerless lie was against the slightest misadventure. On this very day 
he would have tripped at the upward step at the cathedral door had she 
not been with him. "Oh, papa," she said, "indeed, indeed, you 
should not come here alone." Then he apologized for his little stumble 
with many words and much shame, assuring her that anybody might 
trip on an occasion. It was purely an accident ; and though it was a 
comfort to him to have had her arm, he was sure that he should have 
recovered himself even had he been alone. He always, he said, kept 
quite close to the wall, so that there might be no mistake, no 
possibility of an accident. All this he said volubly, but with confused 
words, in the covered stone passage leading into the transept. And, 
as he thus spoke, Mrs. Grantly made up her mind that her father 
should never again go to the cathedral alone. He never did go again 
to the cathedral, alone. 

When they returned to the deanery, Mr. Harding was fluttered, 
weary, and unwell. When his daughter left him for a few minutes he 
told Mrs. Baxter, in confidence, the story of his accident, and his great 
grief that his daughter should have seen it. "Laws amercy, sir, it 
was a blessing she was with you," said Mrs. Baxter ; "it was, indeed, 
Mr. Harding." Then Mr. Harding had been angry, and spoke almost 
crossly to Mrs. Baxter; but, before she left the room, he found an 
opportunity of begging her pardon, not in a set speech to that effect, 
but by a little word of gentle kindness, which she had understood 
perfectly. "Papa," said Mrs. Grantly to him as soon as she had 
succeeded in getting both Posy and Mrs. Baxter out of the room, 
against the doing of which, Mr. Harding had manoeuvred with all his 
little impotent skill, "Papa, you must promise me that you will not 
go to the cathedral again alone, till Eleanor comes home." When he 
heard the sentence he looked at her with blank misery in his eyes. 
He made no attempt at remonstrance. He begged for no respite. 
The word had gone forth, and he knew that it must be obeyed. 
Though he would have hidden the signs of his weakness had he been 
able, he would not condescend to plead that he was strong. "If you 
think it wrong, my dear, I will not go alone," he said. " Papa, I do ; 
indeed, I do. Dear papa, I would not hurt you by saying it if I did 
not know that I am right." He was sitting with his hand upon the 
table, and, as she spoke to him, she put her hand upon his, caressing 
it. " My dear," he said, " you are always right." 

She then left him again for awhile, having some business out in the 
city, and he was alone in his room for an hour. What was there left 
to him now in the world ? Old as he was, and in some things almost 



G2 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BAESET. 

childish, nevertheless, he thought of this keenly, and some half-realized 
remembrance of "the lean and slippered pantaloon " flitted across his 
mind, causing him a pang. What was there left to him now in the 
world ? Posy and cat's-cradle ! Then, in the midst of his regrets, as 
he sat with his hack bent in his old easy-chair, with one arm over the 
shoulder of the chair, and the other hanging loose by his side, on a 
sudden there came across his face a smile as sweet as ever brightened 
the face of man or woman. He had been able to tell himself that he 
had no ground for complaint, great ground rather for rejoicing and 
gratitude. Had not the world and all in it been good to him ; had he 
not children who loved him, who had done him honour, who had been 
to him always a crown of glory, never a mark for reproach ; had not his 
lines fallen to him in very pleasant places ; was it not his happy fate 
to go and leave it all amidst the good words and kind loving cares 
of devoted friends ? Whose latter days had ever been more blessed 

than his ? And for the future ? It was as he thought of this that 

that smile came across his face, as though it were already the face of' 
an angel. And then he muttered to himself a word or two. " Lord, 
now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace. Lord, now lettest 
Thou Thy servant depart in peace." 

When Mrs. Grantly returned she found him in jocund spirits. 
And yet she perceived that he was so weak that when he left his chair 
he could barely get across the room without assistance. Mrs. Baxter, 
indeed, had not sent to her too soon, and it was well that the prohibition 
had come in time to prevent some terrible accident. "Papa," she 
said, " I think you had better go with me to Plumstead. The carnage 
is here, and I can take you home so comfortably." But he would not 
allow himself to be taken on this occasion to Plumstead. He smiled 
and thanked her, and put his hand into hers, and repeated his promise 
that he would not leave the house on any occasion without assistance, 
and declared himself specially thankful to her for coming to him on that 
special morning ; but he would not be taken to Plumstead. " When 
the summer comes," he said, "then, if you will have me for a few 
days ! " 

He meant no deceit, and yet he had told himself within the last 
hour that he should never see another summer. He could not tell 
even his daughter that after such a life as this, after more than fifty 
years spent in the ministrations of his darling cathedral, it specially 
behoved him to die, as he had lived, at Barchester. He could not 
say this to his eldest daughter ; but had his Eleanor been at home, he 
could have said it to her. He thought he might yet live to see his 



LADY LUFTON'S PROPOSITION. 63 

Eleanor once again. If this could be given to him he would ask for 
nothing more. 

On the afternoon of the next day, Mrs. Baxter wrote another letter, 
in which she told Mrs. Grantly that her father had declared, at his 
usual hour of rising that morning, that as he was not going to the 
cathedral he would, he thought, lie in bed a little longer. And then 
he had lain in bed the whole day. " And, perhaps, honoured madam, 
looking at all things, it's best as he should," said Mrs. Baxter. 



CHAPTEK L. 

LADY LUFTON'S PROPOSITION. 

IT was now known throughout Barchester that a commission was to be 
held by the bishop's orders, at which inquiry would be made, that is, 
ecclesiastical inquiry, as to the guilt imputed to Mr. Crawley in the 
matter of Mr. Soames's cheque. Sundry rumours had gone abroad as 
to quarrels which had taken place on the subject among certain clergy- 
men high in 'office ; but these were simply rumours, and nothing was in 
truth known. There was no more discreet clergyman in all the diocese 
than Dr. Tempest, and not a word had escaped from him as to the 
stormy nature of that meeting in the bishop's palace, at which he had 
attended with the bishop, and at which Mrs. Proudie had attended 
also. When it is said that the fact of this coming commission was 
known to all Barsetshire, allusion is of course made to that portion of 
the inhabitants of Barsetshire to which clerical matters were dear ; 
and as such matters were specially dear to the inhabitants of the parish 
of Framley, the commission was discussed very eagerly in that parish, 
and was specially discussed by the Dowager Lady Lufton. 

And there was a double interest attached to the commission in the 
parish of Framley by the fact that Mr. Robarts, the vicar, had been 
invited by Dr. Tempest to be one of the clergymen who were to assist 
in making the inquiry. " I also propose to ask Mr. Oriel of Greshams- 
bury to join us," said Dr. Tempest. " The bishop wishes to appoint 
the other two, and has already named Mr. Thumble and Mr. Quiverful, 
who are both residents in the city. Perhaps his lordship may be right 
in thinking it better that the matter should not be left altogether in the 
hands of clergymen who hold livings in the diocese. You are no doubt 



64= THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

aware that neither Mr. Thumble nor Mr. Quiverful do hold any benefice." 
Mr. Robarts felt, as everybody else did feel who knew anything of the 
matter, that Bishop Proudie was singularly ignorant in his knowledge 
of men, and that he showed his ignorance on this special occasion. 
"If he intended to name two such men he should at any rate have 
named three," said Dr. Thome. "Mr. Thumble and Mr. Quiverful 
will simply be outvoted on the first day, and after that will give in 
their adhesion to the majority." "Mr. Thumble, indeed!" Lady 
Lufton had said, with much scorn in her voice. To her thinking, it 
was absurd in the highest degree that such men as Dr. Tempest and 
her Mr. Robarts should be asked to meet Mr. Thumble and Mr. Quiverful 
on a matter of ecclesiastical business. Outvoted! Of course they would 
be outvoted. Of course they would be so paralyzed by fear at finding 
themselves in the presence of real gentlemen, that they would hardly be 
able to vote at all. Old Lady Lufton did not in fact utter words so 
harsh as these ; but thoughts as harsh passed through her mind. The 
reader therefore will understand that much interest was felt on the 
subject at Framley Court, where Lady Lufton lived with her son and 
her daughter-in-law. 

" They tell me," said Lady Lufton, " that both the archdeacon and 
Dr. Tempest think it right that a commission should be held. If so, 
I have no doubt that it is right." 

"Mark says that the bishop could hardly do anything else," 
rejoined Mrs. Robarts. 

" I daresay not, my dear. I suppose the bishop has somebody 
near him to tell him what he may do, and what he may not do. It 
would be terrible to think of, if it were not so. But yet, when I hear 
that he has named such men as Mr. Thumble and Mr. Quiverful, I 
cannot but feel that the whole diocese is disgraced." 

" Oh, Lady Lufton, that is such a strong word," said Mrs. Robarts. 

" It may be strong, but it is not the less true," said Lady Lufton. 

And from talking on the subject of the Crawleys, Lady Lufton soon 
advanced, first to a desire for some action, and then to acting. " I 
think, my dear, I will go over and see Mrs. Crawley," said Lady Lufton 
the elder to Lady Lufton the younger. Lady Lufton the younger had 
nothing to urge against this ; but she did not offer to accompany the 
elder lady. I attempted to explain in the early part of this story that 
there still existed a certain understanding between Mrs. Crawley and 
Lord Lufton's wife, and that kindnesses occasionally passed from 
Framley Court to Hogglestock Parsonage ; but on this occasion young 
Lady Lufton, the Lucy Robarts who had once passed certain days of 



LADY LUFTON'S PKOPOSITION. 65 

her life with the Crawleys at Hogglestock, did not choose to accom- 
pany her mother-in-law; and therefore Mrs. Robarts was invited to do 
so. " I think it may comfort her to know that she has our sympathy," 
the elder woman said to the younger as they made their journey 
together. 

When the carriage stopped before the little wicket-gate, from whence 
a path led through a ragged garden from the road to Mr. Crawley's 
house, Lady Lufton hardly knew how to proceed. The servant came 
to the door of the carriage, and asked for her orders. " H m m, 
ha, yes ; I think I'll send in my card ; and say that I hope Mrs. 
Crawley will be able to see me. Won't that be best; eh, Fanny?" 
Fanny, otherwise Mrs. Robarts, said that she thought that would be 
best ; and the card and message were carried in. 

It was happily the case that Mr. Crawley was not at home. Mr. 
Crawley was away at Hoggle End, reading to the brickmakers, or turn- 
ing the mangles of their wives, or teaching them theology, or politics, or 
history, after his fashion. In these days he spent, perhaps, the happiest 
hours of his life down at Hoggle End. I say that his absence was a 
happy chance, because, had he been at home, he would certainly have 
said something, or done something, to offend Lady Lufton. He would 
either have refused to see her, or when seeing her he would have bade 
her hold her peace and not interfere with matters which did not 
concern her, or, more probable still, he would have sat still and 
sullen, and have spoken not at all. But he was away, and Mrs. 
Crawley sent out word by the servant that she would be most proud 
to see her ladyship, if her ladyship would be pleased to alight. Her 
ladyship did alight, and walked into the parsonage, followed by Mrs. 
Robarts. 

Grace was with her mother. Indeed Jane had been there also when 
the message was brought in, but she fled into back regions, overcome 
by shame as to her frock. Grace, I think, would have fled too, had she 
not been bound in honour to support her mother. Lady Lufton, as 
she entered, was very gracious, struggling with all the power of her 
womanhood so to carry herself that there should be no outwardly visible 
sign of her rank or her wealth, but not altogether succeeding. Mrs. 
Robarts, on her first entrance, said only a word or two of greeting to 
Mrs. Crawley, and kissed Grace, whom she had known intimately in 
early years. " Lady Lufton," said Mrs. Crawley, '"I am afraid this is 
a very poor place for you to come to ; but you have known that of old, 
and therefore I need hardly apologize." 

" Sometimes I like poor places best," said Lady Lufton. Then 

IE. XIX. Q Q 



66 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

there was a pause, after which Lady Lufton addressed herself to Grace, 
seeking some subject for immediate conversation. " You have been 
down at Allington, my dear, have you not?" Grace, in a whisper, 
said that she had. " Staying with the Dales, I believe ? I know the 
Dales well by name, and I have always heard that they are charming 
people." 

" I like them very much," said Grace. And then there was another 
pause. 

"I hope your husband is pretty well, Mrs. Crawley ? " said Lady 
Lufton. 

" He is pretty well, not quite strong. I daresay you know, Lady 
Lufton, that he has things to vex him?" Mrs. Crawley felt that it was 
the need of the moment that the only possible subject of conversation 
in that house should be introduced ; and therefore she brought it in 
at once, not loving the subject, but being strongly conscious of the 
necessity. Lady Lufton meant to be good-natured, and therefore 
Mrs. Crawley would do all in her power to make Lady Lufton's mission 
easy to her. 

" Indeed yes," said her ladyship ; " we do know that." 

" We feel so much for you and Mr. Crawley," said Mrs. Robarts ; 
" and are so sure that your sufferings are unmerited." This was not 
discreet on the part of Mrs. Robarts, as she was the wife of one of 
the clergymen who had been selected to form the commission of inquiry ; 
and so Lady Lufton told her on their way home. 

" You are very kind," said Mrs. Crawley. " We must only bear 
it with such fortitude as God will give us. We are told that He tempers 
the wind to the shorn lamb." 

"And so He does, my dear," said the old lady, very solemnly. "So 
He does. Surely you have felt that it is so ? " 

"I struggle not to complain," said Mrs. Crawley. 

" I know that you struggle bravely. I hear of you, and I admire 
you for it, and I love you." It was still the old lady who was speaking, 
and now she had at last been roused out of her difficulty as to words, and 
had risen from her chair, and was standing before Mrs. Crawley. " It is 
because you do not complain, because you are so great and so good, 
because your character is so high, and your spirit so firm, that I could 
not resist the temptation of coming to you. Mrs. Crawley, if you will 
let me be your friend, I shall be proud of your friendship." 

"Your ladyship is too good," said Mrs. Crawley. 

" Do not talk to me after that fashion," said Lady Lufton. "If 
you do I shall be disappointed, and feel myself thrown back. You 



LADY LUFTON'S PROPOSITION. 67 

know what 1 mean." She paused for an answer; but Mrs. Crawley 
had no answer to make. She simply shook her head, not knowing why 
she did so. But we may know. We can understand that she had felt 
that the friendship offered to her by Lady Lufton was an impossibility. 
She had decided within her own breast that it was so, though she did 
not know that she had come to such decision. "I wish you to take 
me at my word, Mrs. Crawley," continued Lady Lufton. " What can 
we do for you ? We know that you are distressed." 

" Yes, we are distressed." 

" And we know how cruel circumstances have been to you. Will 
you not forgive me for being plain ? " 

"I have nothing to forgive," said Mrs. Crawley. 

" Lady Lufton means," said Mrs. Robarts, " that in asking you to 

talk openly to her of your affairs, she wishes you to remember that 

I think you know what we mean," said Mrs. Robarts, knowing very 
well herself what she did mean, but not knowing at all how to express 
herself. 

" Lady Lufton is very kind," said Mrs. Crawley, " and so are you, 
Mrs. Robarts. I know how good you both are, and for how much it 
behoves me to be grateful." These words were very cold, and the 
voice in which they were spoken was very cold. They made Lady 
Lufton feel that it was beyond her power to proceed with the work of 
her mission in its intended spirit. It is ever so much easier to proffer 
kindness graciously than to receive it with grace. Lady Lufton had 
intended to say, " Let us be women together; women bound by 
humanity, and not separated by rank, and let us open our hearts freely. 
Let us see how we may be of comfort to each other." And could she 
have succeeded in this, she would have spread out her little plans of 
succour with so loving a hand that she would have conquered the woman 
before her. But the suffering spirit cannot descend from its dignity of 
reticence. It has a nobility of its own, made sacred by many tears, by 
the flowing of streams of blood from unseen wounds, which cannot 
descend from its da'is to receive pity and kindness. A consciousness of 
undeserved woe produces a grandeur of its own, with which the high- 
souled sufferer will not easily part. Baskets full of eggs, pounds of 
eleemosynary butter, quarters of given pork, even second-hand clothing 
from the wardrobe of some richer sister, even money, unsophisticated 
money, she could accept. She had learned to know that it was a 
portion of her allotted misery to take such things, for the sake of her 
children and her husband, and to be thankful for them. She did take 
them, and was thankful ; and in the taking she submitted herself to the 



68 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

rod of cruel circumstances ; but she could noc even yet bring herself to 
accept spoken pity from a stranger, and to kiss the speaker. 

" Can we not do something to help you ? " said Mrs. Kobarts. She 
would not have spoken but that she perceived that Lady Lufton had 
completed her appeal, and that Mrs. Crawley did not seem prepared to 
answer it. 

" You have done much to help us," said Mrs. Crawley. " The 
things you have sent to us have been very serviceable." 

" But we mean something more than that," said Lady Lufton. 

" I do not know what there is more," said Mrs. Crawley. " A bit 
to eat and something -to wear ; that seems to be all that we have to 
care for now." 

" But we were afraid that this coming trial must cause you so much 
anxiety." 

"Of course it causes anxiety; but what can we do? It must 
be so. It cannot be put off, or avoided. We have made up our 
minds to it now, and almost wish that it would come quicker. If 
it were once over I think that he would be better whatever the result 
might be." 

Then there was another lull in the conversation, and Lady Lufton 
began to be afraid that her visit would be a failure. She thought that 
perhaps she might get on better if Grace were not in the room, and she 
turned over in her mind various schemes for sending her away. And 
perhaps her task would be easier if Mrs. Kobarts also could be banished 
for a time. " Fanny, my dear," she said at last, boldly, " I know you 
have a little plan to arrange with Miss Crawley. Perhaps you will be 
more likely to be successful if you can take a turn with her alone." 
There was not much subtlety in her ladyship's scheme ; but it answered 
the proposed purpose, and the two elder ladies were soon left face to 
face, so that Lady Lufton had a fair pretext for making another 
attempt. "Dear Mrs. Crawley," she said, "I do so long to say a 
word to you, but I fear that I may be thought to interfere." 

" Oh, no, Lady Lufton ; I have no feeling of that kind." 

" I have asked your daughter and Mrs. Bobarts to go out because 
I can speak more easily to you alone. I wish I could teach you to 
trust me." 

" I do trust you." 

" As a friend, I mean ; as a real friend. If it should be the case, 
Mrs. Crawley, that a jury should give a verdict against your husband, 
what will you do then ? Perhaps I ought not to suppose that it is 
possible." 



LADY LUFTON'S PROPOSITION. 69 

" Of course we know that is possible," said Mrs. Crawley. Her 
voice was stern, and there was in it a tone almost of offence. As she 
spoke she did not look at her visitor, but sat with her face averted and 
her arms akimbo on the table. * 

" Yes ; it is possible," said Lady Lufton. " I suppose there is 
not one in the county who does not truly wish that it may not be so. 
But it is right to be prepared for all alternatives. In such case have 
you thought what you will do ? " 

" I do not know what they would do to him," said she. 

" I suppose that for some time he would be " 

" Put in prison," said Mrs. Crawley, speaking very quickly, bring- 
ing out the words with a sharp eagerness that was quite unusual to her. 
" They will send him to gaol. Is it not so, Lady Lufton ? " 

" I suppose it would be so ; not for long I should hope ; but I 
presume that such would be the sentence for some short period." 

" And I might not go with him ? " 

" No ; that would be impossible." 

"And the house, and the living; would they let him have them 
again when he came out ? " 

"Ah; that I cannot say. That will depend much, probably, on 
what these clergymen will report. I hope he will not put himself in 
opposition to them." 

" I do not know. I cannot say. It is probable that he may do 
so. It is not easy for a man so injured as he has been, and one at 
the same time so great in intelligence, to submit himself gently to such 
inquiries. When ill is being done to himself or others he is very prone 
to oppose it." 

" But these gentlemen do not wish to do him ill, Mrs. Crawley." 

"I cannot say. I do not know. When I think of it I see 
that there is nothing but ruin on every side. What is the use of 
talking of it ? Do not be angry, Lady Lufton, if I say that it is of 
no use." 

" But I desire to be of use, of real use. If it should be the 
case, Mrs. Crawley, that your husband should be detained at Bar- 
chester " 

" You mean imprisoned, Lady Lufton." 

" Yes, I mean imprisoned. If it should be so, then do you bring 
yourself and your children, all of them, over to Framley, and I will 
find a home for you while he is lost to you." 

" Oh, Lady Lufton ; I could not do that." 

"Yes, you can. You have not heard me yet. It would not be 



70 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

a comfort to you in such a home as that to sit at table with people who 
are partly strangers to you. But there is a cottage nearly adjoining 
to the house, which you shall have all to yourself. The bailiff lived in 
it once, and others have lived in it who belong to the place ; but it is 
empty now and it shall be made comfortable." The tears were now 
running down Mrs. Crawley's face, so that she could not answer a 
word. " Of course it is my son's property, and not mine, but he has 
commissioned me to say that it is most heartily at your service. 
He begs that in such case you will occupy it. And I beg the same. 
And your old friend Lucy has desired me also to ask you in her 
name." 

"Lady Lufton, I could not do that," said Mrs. Crawley through 
her tears. 

" You must think better of it, my dear. I do not scruple to advise 
you, because I am older than you, and have experience of the world." 
This, I think, taken in the ordinary sense of the words, was a boast on 
the part of Lady Lufton, for which but little true pretence existed. 
Lady Luf ton's experience of the world at large was not perhaps extensive. 
Nevertheless she knew what one woman might offer to another, and 
what one woman might receive from another. "You would be better 
over with me, my dear, than you could be elsewhere. You will not 
misunderstand me if I say that, under such circumstances, it would 
do your husband good that you and your children should be under our 
protection during his period of temporary seclusion. We stand well in 
the county. Perhaps I ought not to say so, but I do not know how 
otherwise to explain myself; and when it is known, by the bishop and 
others, that you have come to us during that sad time, it will be under- 
stood that we think well of Mr. Crawley, in spite of anything that a 
jury may say of him. Do you see that, my dear ? And we do think 
well of him. I have known of your husband for many years, though I 
have not personally had the pleasure of much acquaintance- with him. 
He was over at Framley once at my request, and I had great occasion 
then to respect him. I do respect him ; and I shall feel grateful to him 
if he will allow you to put yourself and your children under my wing, as 
being an old woman, should this misfortune fall upon him. We hope 
that it will not fall upon him ; but it is always well to be provided for 
the worst." 

In this way Lady Lufton at last made her speech and opened out 
the proposal with which she had come laden to Hogglestock. While 
she was speaking Mrs. Crawley's shoulder was still turned to her ; 
but the speaker could see that the quick tears were pouring them- 



LADY LUFTON'S PBOPOSITION. 71 

selves down the cheeks of the woman whom she addressed. There was 
a downright honesty of thorough-going well-wishing charity ahout the 
proposition which overcame Mrs. Crawley altogether. She did not feel 
for a moment that it would be possible for her to go to Framley in such 
circumstances as those which had been suggested. As she thought of 
it all at the present moment, it seemed to her that her only appropriate 
home during the terrible period which was coming upon her, would be 
under the walls of the prison in which her husband would be incar- 
cerated. But she fully appreciated the kindness which had suggested 
a measure, which, if carried into execution, would make the outside 
world feel that her husband was respected in the county, despite the 
degradation to which he was subjected. She felt all this, but her heart 
was too full to speak. 

" Say that it shall be so, my dear," continued Lady Lufton. 
" Just give me one nod of assent, and the cottage shall be ready 
for you should it so chance that you should require it." 

But Mrs. Crawley did not give the nod of assent. With her face still 
averted, while the tears were still running down her cheeks, she muttered 
but a word or two. "I could not do that, Lady Lufton ;. I could not 
do that." 

" You know at any rate what my wishes are, and as you become 
calmer you will think of it. There is quite time enough, and I am 
speaking of an alternative which may never happen. My dear friend 
Mrs. Robarts, who is now with your daughter, wishes Miss Crawley to 
go over to Framley Parsonage while this inquiry among the clergymen 
is going on. They all say it is the most ridiculous thing in all the 
world, this inquiry. But the bishop you know is so silly ! We all 
think that if Miss Crawley would go for a week or so to Framley 
Parsonage, that it will show how happy we all are to receive her. It 
should be while Mr. Robarts is employed in his part of the work. 
What do you say, Mrs. Crawley ? We at Framley are all clearly 
of opinion that it will be best that it should be known that the 
people in the county uphold your husband. Miss Crawley would be 
back, you know, before the trial comes on. I hope you will let her come, 
Mrs. Crawley?" 

But even to this proposition Mrs. Crawley could give no assent, 
though she expressed no direct dissent. As regarded her own feelings, 
she would much have preferred to have been left to live through her 
misery alone ; but she could not but appreciate the kindness which 
endeavoured to throw over her and hers in their trouble the aegis of 
first-rate county respectability. She was saved from the necessity of 



72 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BAKSET. 

giving a direct answer to this suggestion by the return of Mrs. Robarts 
and Grace herself. The door was opened slowly, and they crept into 
the room as though they were aware that their presence would be hardly 
welcomed. 

"Is the carriage there, Fanny ? " said Lady Lufton. "It is almost 
time for us to think of returning home." 

Mrs. Robarts said that the carriage was standing within twenty 
yards of the door. 

"Then I think we will make a start," said Lady Lufton. "Have 
you succeeded in persuading Miss Crawley to come over to Framley 
in April ? " 

Mrs. Robarts made no answer to this, but looked at Grace; and 
Grace looked down upon the ground. 

"I have spoken to Mrs. Crawley," said Lady Lufton, "and they 
will think of it." Then the two ladies took their leave, and walked 
out to their carriage. 

" What does she say about your plan ? " Mrs. Robarts asked. 

" She is too broken-hearted to say anything," Lady Lufton answered. 
" Should it happen that he is convicted, we must come over and take 
her. She will have no power then to resist us in anything." 



CHAPTER LI. 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON PILES HER FAGOTS. 

HE picture still progressed up 
in Mrs. Dobbs Broughton's 
room, and the secret was still 
kept, or supposed to be kept. 
Miss Van Siever was, at any 
rate, certain that her mother 
had heard nothing of it, and 
Mrs. Broughton reported from 
day to day that her husband 
had not as yet interfered. 
Nevertheless, there was in 
these days a great gloom upon 
the Dobbs Broughton house- 
hold, so much so that Conway 
Dalrymple had more than once 
suggested to Mrs. Broughton 
that the work should be dis- 
continued. But the mistress 
of the house would not consent to this. In answer to these offers, 
she was wont to declare in somewhat mysterious language, that 
any misery coming upon herself was matter of moment to nobody, 
hardly even to herself, as she was quito prepared to encounter 
moral and social death without delay, if not an absolute physical 
demise ; as to which latter alternative, she seemed to think that even 
that might not be so far distant as some people chose to believe. 
What was the cause of the gloom over the house neither Conway 
Dalrymple nor Miss Yan Siever understood, and to speak the truth 
Mrs. Broughton did not quite understand the cause herself. She knew 
well enough, no doubt, that her husband came home always sullen, 
and sometimes tipsy, and that things were not going well in the City. 
She had never understood much about the City, being satisfied with 
an assurance that had come to her in early days from her friends, 
that there was a mine of wealth in Hook Court, from whence would 
always come for her use, house and furniture, a carnage and horses, 

n, xx. R s 




74 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BASSET. 

dresses and jewels, which latter, if not quite real, should be manufactured 
of the best sham substitute known. Soon after her brilliant marriage 
with Mr. Dobbs Broughton, she had discovered that the carriage and 
horses, and the sham jewels, did not lift her so completely into a 
terrestrial paradise as she had taught herself to expect that they would 
do. Her brilliant drawing-room, with Dobbs Broughton for a com- 
panion, was not an elysium. But though she had found out early in 
her married life that something was still wanting to her, she had by 
no means confessed to herself that the carriage and horses and sham 
jewels were bad, and it can hardly be said that she had repented. She 
had endeavoured to patch up matters with a little romance, and then 
had fallen upon Conway Dalrymple, meaning no harm. Indeed, love 
with her, as it never could have meant much good, was not likely to 
mean much harm. That somebody should pretend to love her, to 
which pretence she might reply by a pretence of friendship, this was 
the little excitement which she craved, and by which she had once 
flattered herself that something of an elysium might yet be created for 
her. Mr. Dobbs Broughton had unreasonably expressed a dislike to 
this innocent amusement, very unreasonably, knowing, as he ought 
to have known, that he himself did so very little towards providing the 
necessary elysium by any qualities of his own. For a few weeks this 
interference from her husband had enhanced the amusement, giving an 
additional excitement to the game. She felt herself to be a woman 
misunderstood and ill-used ; and to some women there is nothing so 
charming as a little mild ill-usage, which does not interfere with their 
creature comforts, with their clothes, or their carriage, or their sham 
jewels ; but suffices to afford them the indulgence of a grievance. Of 
late, however, Mr. Dobbs Broughton had become a little too rough in 
his language, and things had gone uncomfortably. She suspected that 
Conway Dalrymple was not the only cause of all this. She had an 
idea that Mr. Musselboro and Mrs. Van Siever had it in their power to 
make themselves unpleasant, and that they were exercising this power. 
Of his business in the City her husband never spoke to her, nor she to 
him. Her own fortune had been very small, some couple of thousand 
pounds or so, and she conceived that she had no pretext on which she 
could, unasked, interrogate him about his money. She had no knowledge 
that marriage of itself had given her the right to such interference ; and 
had such knowledge been hers she would have had no desire to interfere. 
She hoped that the carriage and sham jewels would be continued to 
her ; but she did not know how to frame any question on the subject. 
Touching the other difficulty, the Conway Dalrymple difficulty, she 



MRS. DOBBS BROliaHTO-N PILES HER FAGOTS. 75 

had her ideas. The tenderness of her friendship had been trodden 
upon and outraged by the rough foot of an overbearing husband, and 
she was ill-used. She would obey. It was becoming to her as a wife 
that she should submit. She would give up Conway Dalrymple, and 
would induce him, in spite of his violent attachment to herself, to 
take a wife. She herself would choose a wife for him. She herself 
would, with suicidal hands, destroy the romance of her own life, since 
an overbearing, brutal husband demanded that it should be destroyed. 
She would sacrifice her own feelings, and do all in her power to bring 
Conway Dalrymple and Clara Yan Siever together. If, after that, some 
poet did not immortalize her friendship in Byronic verse, she cer- 
tainly would not get her due. Perhaps Conway Dalrymple would 
himself become a poet in order that this might be done properly. For 
it must be understood that, though she expected Conway Dalrymple 
to marry, she expected also that he should be Byronically wretched 
after his marriage on account of his love for herself. 

But there was certainly something wrong over and beyond the 
Dalrymple difficulty. The servants were not as civil as they used to 
be, and her husband, when she suggested to him a little dinner-party, 
snubbed her most unmercifully. The giving of dinner-parties had been 
his glory, and she had made the suggestion simply with the view of 
pleasing him. "If the world were going round the wrong way, a 
woman would still want a party," he had said, sneering at her. "It 
was of you I was thinking, Dobbs," she replied; "not of myself. I 
care little for such gatherings." After that she retired to her own room 
with a romantic tear in each eye, and told herself that, had chance 
thrown Conway Dalrymple into her way before she had seen Dobbs 
Broughton, she would have been the happiest woman in the world. 
She sat for a while looking into vacancy, and thinking that it would be 
very nice to break her heart. How should she set about it ? Should 
she take to her bed and grow thin ? She would begin by eating no 
dinner for ever so many days together. At lunch her husband was 
never present, and therefore the broken heart could be displayed at 
dinner without much positive suffering. In the meantime she would 
implore Conway Dalrymple to get himself married with as little delay 
as possible, and she would lay upon him her positive order to restrain 
himself from any word of affection addressed to herself. She, at any rate, 
would be pure, high-minded, and self-sacrificing, although romantic 
and poetic also, as was her nature. 

The picture was progressing, and so also, as it had come about, was 
the love-affair between the artist and his model. Conway Dalrymple 

B B 2 



76 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAR SET. 

had begun to think that he might, after all, do worse than make Clara 
Yan Siever his wife. Clara Van Siever was handsome, and undoubtedly 
clever, and Clara Yan Siever's mother was certainly rich. And, in 
addition to this, the young lady herself began to like the man into 
whose society she was thrown. The affair seemed to nourish, and 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton should have been "delighted. She told Clara, 
with a very serious air, that she was delighted, bidding Clara, at the 
same time, to be very cautious, as men were so fickle, and as Conway, 
though the best fellow in the world, was not, perhaps, altogether free 
from that common vice of men. Indeed, it might have been surmised, 
from a word or two which Mrs. Broughton allowed to escape, that she 
considered poor Conway to be more than ordinarily afflicted in that way. 
Miss Yan Siever at first only pouted, and said that there was nothing 
in it. " There is something in it, my dear, certainly," said Mrs. 
Dobbs Broughton; "and there can be no earthly reason why there 
should not be a great deal in it." " There is nothing in it," said Miss 
Yan Siever, impetuously; " and if you will continue to speak of Mr. 
Dalrymple in that way, I must give up the picture." "As for that," 
said Mrs. Broughton, " I conceive that we are both of us bound to the 
young man now, seeing that he has given so much time to the work." 
" I am not bound to him at all," said Miss Yan Siever. 

Mrs. Broughton also told Conway Dalrymple that she was delighted, 
oh, so much delighted ! He had obtained permission to come in one 
morning before the time of sitting, so that he might work at his canvas 
independently of his model. As was his custom, he made his own way 
upstairs and commenced his work alone, having been expressly told 
by Mrs. Broughton that she would not come to him till she brought 
Clara with her. But she did go up to the room in which the artist 
was painting, without waiting for Miss Yan Siever. Indeed, she was 
at this time so anxious as to the future welfare of her two young 
friencfs that she could not restrain herself from speaking either to the 
one or to the other, whenever any opportunity for such speech came 
round. To have left Conway Dalrymple at work upstairs without going to 
him was impossible to her. So she went, and then took the opportunity 
of expressing to her friend her ideas as to his past and future conduct. 

" Yes, it is very good ; very good, indeed," she said, standing before 
the easel, and looking at the half-completed work. " I do not know that 
you ever did anything better." 

" I never can tell myself till a picture is finished whether it is 
going to be good or not," said Dalrymple, thinking really of his picture 
and of nothing else. 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON PILES HER FAGOTS. 77 

" I am sure this will be good," slie said, " and I suppose it is 
because you have thrown so much heart into it. It is not mere 
industry that will produce good work, nor yet skill, nor even genius : 
more than this is required. The heart of the artist must be thrust with 
all its gushing tides into the performance." By this time he knew 
all the tones of her voice and their various meanings, and imme- 
diately became aware that at the present moment she was intent upon 
something beyond the picture. She was preparing for a little scene, 
and was going to give him some advice. He understood it all, but as 
he was really desirous of working at his canvas, and was rather averse 
to having a scene at that moment, he made a little attempt to disconcert 
her. "It is the heart that gives success," she said, while he was 
considering how he might best put an extinguisher upon her romance 
for the occasion. 

" Not at all, Mrs. Broughton ; success depends on elbow-grease." 

" On what, Con way ?" 

" On elbow-grease, hard work, that is, and I must work hard 
now if I mean to take advantage of to-day's sitting. The truth is, I 
don't give enough hours of work to it." And he leaned upon his stick, 
and daubed away briskly at the background, and then stood for a 
moment looking at his canvas with his head a little on one side, as 
though he could not withdraw his attention for a moment from the thing 
he was doing." 

"You mean to say, Conway, that you would rather that I should 
not speak to you." 

"Oh, no, Mrs. Broughton, I did not mean that at all." 

" I won't interrupt you at your work. What I have to say is 
perhaps of no great moment. Indeed, words between you and me never 
can have much importance now. Can they, Conway 9 " 

" I don't see that at all," said he, still working away with his brush. 

" Do you not ? I do. They should never amount to more, they 
can never amount to more than the common, ordinary courtesies of life ; 
what I call the greetings and good-byings of conversation." She said 
this in a low, melancholy tone of voice, not intending to be in any 
degree jocose. " How seldom is it that conversation between ordinary 
Mends goes beyond that." 

" Don't you think it does ? " said Conway, stepping back and taking 
another look at his picture. "I find myself talking to all manner of 
people about all manner of things." 

" You are different from me. I cannot talk to all manner of people." 

"Politics, you know, and art, and a little scandal, and the wars, 



78 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

with a dozen other things, make talking easy enough, I think. I grant 
you this, that it is very often a great bore. Hardly a day passes that 
I don't wish to cut out somebody's tongue." 

" Do you wish to cut out my tongue, Conway ? " 

He began to perceive that she was determined to talk about herself, 
and that there was no remedy. He dreaded it, not because he did not 
like the woman, but from a conviction that she was going to make 
some comparison between herself and Clara Van Siever. In his ordinary 
humour he liked a little pretence at romance, and was rather good at 
that sort of love-making which in truth means anything but love. But 
just now he was really thinking of matrimony, and had on this very 
morning acknowledged to himself that he had become sufficiently 
attached to Clara Van Siever to justify him in asking her to be his wife. 
In his present mood he was not anxious for one of those tilts with 
blunted swords and half-severed lances in the lists of Cupid of which 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton was so fond. Nevertheless, if she insisted that 
he should now descend into the arena and go through the paraphernalia 
of a mock tournament, he must obey her. It is the hardship of men 
that when called upon by women for romance, they are bound to be 
romantic, whether the opportunity serves them or does not. A man 
must produce romance, or at least submit to it, when duly summoned, 
even though he should have a sore- throat or a headache. He is a 
brute if he decline such an encounter, and feels that, should he so 
decline persistently, he will ever after be treated as a brute. There 
are many Potiphar's wives who never dream of any mischief, and 
Josephs who are very anxious to escape, though they are asked to 
return only whisper for whisper. Mrs. Dobbs Broughton had asked 
him whether he wished that her tongue should be cut out, and he 
had of course replied that her words had always been a joy to him, 
never a trouble. It occurred to him as he made his little speech 
that it would only have served her right if he had answered her 
quite in another strain ; but she was a woman, and was young and 
pretty, and was entitled to flattery. " They have always been a joy 
to me," he said, repeating his last words as he strove to continue 
his work. 

" A deadly joy," she replied, not quite knowing what she herself 
meant. " A deadly joy, Conway. I wish with all my heart that we 
had never known each other." 

" I do not. I will never wish away the happiness of my life, even 
should it be followed by misery." 

" You are a man, and if trouble comes upon you, you can bear it on 



MRS. POBBS BROUGHTON PILES HER FAGOTS. 79 

your own shoulders. A woman suffers more, just because another's 
shoulders may have to bear the burden." 

" When she has got a husband, you mean ? " 

" Yes, when she has a husband." 

"It's the same with a man when he has a wife." Hitherto the 
conversation had had so much of milk-and-water in its composition, that 
Dalrymple found himself able to keep it up and go on with his back- 
ground at the same time. If she could only be kept in the same dim 
cloud of sentiment, if the hot rays of the sun of romance could be kept 
from breaking through the mist till Miss Van Siever should come, it 
might still be well. He had known her to wander about within the 
clouds for an hour together, without being able to find her way into the 
light. " It's all the same with a man when he has got a wife," he 
said. " Of course one has to suffer for two, when one, so to say, 
is two." 

" And what happens when one has to suffer for three ? " she asked. 

" You mean when a woman has children ? " 

" I mean nothing of the kind, Conway ; and you must know that 
I do not, unless your feelings are indeed blunted. But worldly success 
has, I suppose, blunted them." 

" I rather fancy not," he said. " I think they are pretty nearly as 
sharp as ever." 

" I know mine are. Oh, how I wish I could rid myself of them ! 
But it cannot be done. Age will not blunt them, I am sure of that," 
said Mrs. Broughton. " I wish it would." 

He had determined not to talk about herself if the subject could be 
in any way avoided ; but now he felt that he was driven up into a 
corner ; now he was forced to speak to her of her own personality. 
" You have no experience yet as to that. How can you say what age 
will do ? " 

" Age does not go by years," said Mrs. Dobbs Broughton. " We 
all know that. ' His hair was grey, but not with years.' Look here, 
Conway," and she moved back her tresses from off her temples to show 
him that there were gray hairs behind. He did not see them ; and had 
they been very visible she might not perhaps have been so ready to 
exhibit them. " No one can say that length of years has blanched 
them. I have no secrets from you about my age. One should not be 
grey before one has reached thirty." 

" I did not see a changed hair." 

" 'Twas the fault of your eyes, then, for there are plenty of them. 
And what is it has made them grey ? " 



80 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

" They say that hot rooms will do it." 

" Hot rooms ! No, Con way, it does not come from heated atmo- 
sphere. It comes from a cold heart, a chilled heart, a frozen heart, a 
heart that is all ice." She was .getting out of the cloud into the heat 
now, and he could only hope that Miss Van Siever would come soon. 
" The world is beginning with you, Conway, and yet you are as old as 
I am. It is ending with me, and yet I am as young as you are. But I 
do not know why I talk of all this. It is simply folly, utter folly. 
I had not meant to speak of myself; but I did wish to say a few words 
to you of your own future. I suppose I may still speak to you 
as a friend ? " 

"I hope you will always do that." 

" Nay, I will make no such promise. That I will always have a 
friend's feeling for you, a friend's interest in your welfare, a friend's 
triumph in your success, that I will promise. But friendly words, 
Conway, are sometimes misunderstood." 

" Never by me," said he. 

" No, not by you, certainly not by you. I did not mean that. I 
did not expect that you should misinterpret them." Then she laughed 
hysterically, a little low, gurgling, hysterical laugh ; and after that she 
wiped her eyes, and then she smiled, and then she put her hand very 
gently upon his shoulder. " Thank God, Conway, we are quite safe 
there, are we not ? " 

He had made a blunder, and it was necessary that he should correct 
it. His watch was lying in the trough of his easel, and he looked at it 
and wondered why Miss Van Siever was not there. He had tripped, 
and he must make a little struggle and recover his step. "As I said 
before, it shall never be misunderstood by me. I have never been vain 
enough to suppose for a moment that there was any other feeling, not 
for a moment. You women can be so careful, while we men are always 
off our guard ! A man loves because he cannot help it ; but a woman 
has been careful, and answers him with friendship. Perhaps I am 
wrong to say that I never thought of winning anything more ; but I 
never think of winning more now." Why the mischief didn't Miss 
Van Siever come ! In another five minutes, despite himself, he would 
he on his knees, making a mock declaration, and she would be pouring 
forth the vial of her mock wrath, or giving him mock counsel as to the 
restraint of his passion. He had gone through it all before, and was 
tired of it ; but for his life he did not know how to help himself. 

" Conway," said she, gravely, "how dare you address me in such 
language ? " 



MES. DOBBS BROUGHTON PILES HER FAGOTS. 81 

" Of course it is very wrong ; I know that." 

" I'm not speaking of myself, now. I have learned to think so 
little of myself, as even to be indifferent to the feeling of the injury you 
are doing me. My life is a blank, and I almost think that nothing can 
hurt me further. I have not heart left enough to break; no, not 
enough to be broken. It is not of myself that I am thinking, when I 
ask you how you dare to address me in such language. Do you not 
know that it is an injury to another ? " 

"To what other?" asked Conway Dalrymple, whose mind was 
becoming rather confused, and who was not quite sure whether the 
other one was Mr. Dobbs Broughton, or somebody else. 

" To that poor girl who is coming here now, who is devoted to 
you, and to whom, I do not doubt, you have uttered words which 
ought to have made it impossible for you to speak to me as you spoke 
not a moment since." 

Things were becoming very grave and difficult. They would have 
been very grave, indeed, had not some god saved him by sending 
Miss Van Siever to his rescue at this moment. He was beginning to 
think what he would say in answer to the accusation now made, when 
his eager ear caught the sound of her step upon the stairs ; and before 
the pause in the conversation which the circumstances admitted had 
given place to the necessity for further speech, Miss Van Siever had 
knocked at the door and had entered the room. He was rejoiced, and I 
think that Mrs. Broughton did not regret the interference. It is always 
well that these little dangerous scenes should be brought to sudden 
ends. The last details of such romances, if drawn out to their natural 
conclusions, are apt to be uncomfortable, if not dull. She did not 
want him to go down on his knees, knowing that the getting up again 
is always awkward. 

" Clara, I began to think you were never coming," said Mrs. 
Broughton, with her sweetest smile. 

"I began to think so myself also," said Clara. " And I believe 
this must be the last sitting, or, at any rate, the last but one." 

" Is anything the matter at home ? " said Mrs. Broughton, clasping 
her hands together. 

" Nothing very much ; mamma asked me a question or two this 
morning, and I said I was coming here. Had she asked me why, I 
should have told her." 

" But what did she ask ? What did she say ? " 

" She does not always make herself very intelligible. She com- 
plains without telling you what she complains of. But she muttered 



82 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

something about artists which was not complimentary, and I suppose, 
therefore, that she has a suspicion. She stayed ever so late this 
morning, and we left the house together. She will ask some direct 
question to-night, or before long, and then there will be an end of it." 

"Let us make the best of our time then," said Dalrymple; and 
the sitting was arranged ; Miss Van Siever went down on her knees 
with her hammer in her hand, and the work began. Mrs. Broughton 
had twisted a turban round Clara's head, as she always did on these 
occasions, and assisted to arrange the drapery. She used to tell herself 
as she did so, that she was like Isaac, piling the fagots for her own 
sacrifice. Only Isaac had piled them in ignorance, and she piled them 
conscious of the sacrificial flames. And Isaac had been saved ; whereas 
it was impossible that the catching of any ram in any thicket could 
save her. But, nevertheless, she arranged the drapery with all her 
skill, piling the fagots ever so high for her own pyre. In the mean- 
time Conway Dalrymple painted away, thinking more of his picture 
than he did of one woman or of the other. 

After a while, when Mrs. Broughton had piled the fagots as high 
as she could pile them, she got up from her seat and prepared to leave 
the room. Much of the piling consisted, of course, in her own absence 
during a portion of these sittings. " Conway," she said, as she went, 
" if this is to be the last sitting, or the last but one, you should make 
the most of it." Then she threw upon him a very peculiar glance over 
the head of the kneeling Jael, and withdrew. Jael, who in those 
moments would be thinking more of the fatigue of her position than of 
anything else, did not at all take home to herself the peculiar meaning 
of her friend's words. Conway Dalrymple understood them thoroughly, 
and thought that he might as well take the advice given to him. He 
had made up his mind to propose to Miss Van Siever, and why should 
he not do so now ? He went on with his brush for a couple of 
minutes without saying a word, working as well as he could work, and 
then resolved that he would at once begin the other task. " Miss Van 
Siever," he said, " I'm afraid you arc tired ?" 

" Not more than usually tired. It is fatiguing to be slaying Sisera 
by the hour together. I do get to hate this block." The block was 
the dummy by which the form of Sisera was supposed to be typified. 

"Another sitting will about finish it," said he, " so that you need 
not positively distress yourself now. Will you rest yourself for a 
minute or two ? " He had already perceived that the attitude in which 
Clara was posed before him was not one in which an offer of marriage 
could be received and replied to with advantage. 



MBS. DOBBS BROUGKTON PILES IIEB FAGOTS. 88 

"Thank you, I ani not tired yet," said Clara, not changing the 
fixed glance -of national wrath with which she regarded her wooden 
Sisera as she held her hammer on high. 

" But I am. There ; we will rest for a moment." Dalrymple was 
aware that Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, though she was very assiduous in 
piling her fagots, never piled them for long together. If he did not 
make haste she would be back upon them before he could get his word 
spoken. When he put down his brush, and got up from his chair, and 
stretched out his arm as a man does when he ceases for a moment from 
his work, Clara of course got up also, and seated herself. She was used 
to her turban and her drapery, and therefore thought not of it at all ; 
and he also was used to it, seeing her in it two or three times a week ; 
but now that he intended to accomplish a special purpose, the turban 
and the drapery seemed to be in the way. "I do so hope you will 
like the picture," he said, as he was thinking of this. 

" I don't think I shall. But you will understand that it is natural 
that a girl should not like herself in such a portraiture as that." 

"I don't know why. I can understand that you specially should 
not like the picture ; but I think that most women in London in your 
place would at any rate say that they did." 

" Are you angry with me ? " 

"What; for telling the truth? No," indeed." He was standing 
opposite to his easel, looking at the canvas, shifting his head about so 
as to change the lights, and observing critically this blemish and that ; 
and yet he was all the while thinking how he had best carry out his 
purpose. " It will have been a prosperous picture to me," he said at 
last, " if it leads to the success of which I am ambitious." 

"I am told that all you do is successful now, merely because you 
do it. That is the worst of success." 

" What is the worst of success ? " 

" That when won by merit it leads to further success, for the gaining 
of which no merit is necessary." 

" I hope it may be so in my case. If it is not I shall have a very 
poor chance. Clara, I think you must know that I am not talking 
about my pictures." 

11 1 thought you were." 

" Indeed I am not. As for success in my profession, far as I ani 
from thinking I merit it, I feel tolerably certain that I shall obtain it." 

" You have obtained it." 

" I am in the way to do so. Perhaps one out of ten struggling 
artists is successful, and for him the profession is very charming. It is 



84 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

certainly a sad feeling that there is so much of chance in the distribution 
of the prizes. It is a lottery. But one cannot complain of that when 
one has drawn the prize." Dalrymple was not a man without self- 
possession, nor was he readily abashed, but he found it easier to talk 
of his possession than to make his offer. The turban was his difficulty. 
He had told himself over and over again within the last five minutes, 
that he would have long since said what he had to say had it not been 
for the turban. He had been painting all his life from living models, 
from women dressed up in this or that costume, to suit the necessities 
of his picture, but he had never made love to any of them. . They 
had been simply models to him, and now he found that there was a 
difficulty. " Of that prize," he said, " I have made myself tolerably 
sure ; but as to the other prize, I do not know. I wonder whether 
I am to have that." Of course Miss Van Siever understood well what 
was the prize of which he was speaking ; and as she was a young 
woman with a will and purpose of her own, no doubt she was already 
prepared with an answer. But it was necessary that the question should 
be put to her in properly distinct terms. Conway Dalrymple certainly 
had not put his question in properly distinct terms at present. She did 
not choose to make any answer to his last words ; and therefore simply 
suggested that as time was pressing he had better go on with his work. 
" I am quite ready now," said she. 

" Stop half a moment. How much more you are thinking of the 
picture than I am ! I do not care twopence for the picture. I will 
slit the canvas from top to bottom without a groan, without a single 
inner groan, if you will let me." 

" For heaven's sake do nothing of the kind ! Why should you ? " 
" Just to show you that it is not for the sake of the picture that I 
come here. Clara Then the door was opened, and Isaac appeared, 
very weary, having been piling fagots with assiduity, till human nature 
could pile no more. Conway Dalrymple, who had made his way almost 
up to Clara's seat, turned round sharply towards his easel, in anger at 
having been disturbed. He should have been more grateful for all that 
his Isaac had done for him, and have recognized the fact that the fault 
had been with himself. Mrs. Broughton had been twelve minutes out 
of the room. She had counted them to be fifteen, having no doubt 
made a mistake as to three, and had told herself that with such a one 
as Conway Dalrymple, with so much of the work ready done to his 
hand for him, fifteen minutes should have been amply sufficient. When 
we reflect what her own thoughts must have been during the interval, 
what it is to have to pile up such fagots as those, how she was, as it 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON PILES HER FAGOTS. 85 

were, giving away a fresh morsel of her own heart during each minute 
that she allowed Clara and Conway Dalrymple to remain together, it 
cannot surprise us that her eyes should have become dizzy, and that 
she should not have counted the minutes with accurate correctness. 
Dalrymple turned to his picture angrily, but Miss Van Siever kept her 
seat and did not show the slightest emotion. 

" My Mends," said Mrs. Broughton, " this will not do. This is 
not working ; this is not sitting." 

" Mr. Dalrymple has been explaining to me the precarious nature 
of an artist's profession," said Clara. 

"It is not precarious with him," said Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, 
sententiously. 

" Not in a general way, perhaps ; but to prove the truth of his 
words he was going to treat Jael worse than Jael treats Sisera." 

" I was going to slit the picture from the top to the bottom." 

" And why ? " said Mrs. Broughton, putting up her hands to heaven 
in tragic horror. 

" Just to show Miss Van Siever how little I care about it." 

" And how little you care about her, too," said Mrs. Broughton. 

" She might take that as she liked." After this there was another 
genuine sitting, and the real work went on as though there had been 
no episode. Jael fixed her face, and held her hammer as though her 
mind and heart were solely bent on seeming to be slaying Sisera. 
Dalrymple turned his eyes from the canvas to the model, and from the 
model to the canvas, working with his hand all the while, as though 
that last pathetic " Clara " had never been uttered; and Mrs. Dobbs 
Broughton reclined on a sofa, looking at them and thinking of her own 
singularly romantic position, till her mind was filled with a poetic 
frenzy. In one moment she resolved that she would* hate Clara as 
woman was never hated by woman ; and then there were daggers, and 
poison-cups, and strangling cords in her eye. In the next she was as 
firmly determined that she would love Mrs. Conway Dalrymple as woman 
never was loved by woman ; and then she saw herself kneeling by a 
cradle, and tenderly nursing a baby, of which Conway was to be the 
father and Clara the mother. And so she went to sleep. 

For some time Dalrymple did not observe this ; but at last there 
was a little sound, even the ill-nature of Miss Demolines could hardly 
have called it a snore, and he became aware that for practical purposes 
he and Miss Van Siever were again alone together. " Clara," he said, 
in a whisper. Mrs. Broughton instantly aroused herself from her 
slumbers, and rubbed her eyes. "Dear, dear, dear," she said, "I 



88 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAKSET. 

declare it's past one. I'm afraid I must turn you both out. One more 
sitting, I suppose, will finish it, Conway? " 

" Yes, one more," said he. It was always understood that he and 
Clara should not leave the house together, and therefore he remained 
painting when she left the room. " And now, Conway," said Mrs. 
Broughton, " I suppose that all is over ? " 

" I don't know what you mean by all being over." 

"No, of course not. You look at it in another light, no doubt. 
Everything is beginning for you. But you must pardon me, for my 
heart is distracted, distracted, distracted!" Then she sat down 
upon the floor, and burst into tears. What was he to do ? He thought 
that the woman should either give him up altogether, or not give him 
up. All this fuss about it was irrational ! He would not have made 
love to Clara Van Siever in her room if she had not told him to do so ! 

"Maria," he said, in a very grave voice, "any sacrifice that is 
required on my part on your behalf I am ready to make." 

" No, sir ; the sacrifices shall all be made by me. It is the part of 
a woman to be ever sacrificial ! " Poor Mrs. Dobbs Broughton ! " You 
shall give up nothing. The world is at your feet, and you shall have 
everything, youth, beauty, wealth, station, love, love ; and friendship 
also, if you will accept it from one so poor, so broken, so secluded as I 
shall be." At each of the last words there had been a desperate sob ; 
and as she was still crouching in the middle of the room, looking up 
into Dalrymple's face while he stood over her, the scene was one 
which had much in it that transcended the doings of everyday life, 
much that would be ever memorable, and much, I have no doubt, that 
was thoroughly enjoyed by the principal actor. As for Conway Dalrymple, 
he was so second-rate a personage in the whole thing, that it mattered 
little whether he enjoyed it or not. I don't think he did enjoy it. 
"And now, Conway," she said, " I will give you some advice. And 
when in after-days you shall remember this interview, and reflect how 
that advice was given you, with what solemnity," here she clasped 
both her hands together, " I think that you will follow it. Clara Van 
Siever will now become your wife." 

" I do not know that at all," said Dalrymple. 

" Clara Yan Siever will now become your wife," repeated Mrs. 
Broughton in a louder voice, impatient of opposition. ' ' Love her. Cleave 
to her. Make her flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone. But rule 
her ! Yes, rule her ! Let her be your second self, but not your first 
self. Rule her. Love her. Cleave to her. Do not leave her alone, to 
feed on her own thoughts as I have done, as I have been forced to do. 



WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN " IT " FOR YOURSELF ? 87 

Now go. No, Conway, not a word ; I will not hear a word. You must 
go, or I must." Then she rose quickly from her lowly attitude, and 
prepared herself for a dart at the door. It was better by far that he 
should go, and so he went. 

An American when he has spent a pleasant day will tell you that he 
has had " a good time." I think that Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, if she 
had ever spoken the truth of that day's employment, would have 
acknowledged that she had had " a good time." I think that she 
enjoyed her morning's work. But as for Conway Dalrymple, I doubt 
whether he did enjoy his morning's work. " A man may have too much 
of this sort of thing, and then he becomes very sick of his cake." Such 
was the nature of his thoughts as he returned to his own abode. 



CHAPTER LH. 

WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN "IT" FOE YOURSELF} 

OF course it came to pass that Lily Dale and Emily Dunstable were 
soon very intimate, and that they saw each other every day. Indeed, 
before long they would have been living together in the same house had 
it not been that the squire had felt reluctant to abandon the indepen- 
dence of his own lodgings. When Mrs. Thome had pressed her invita- 
tion for the second, and then for the third time, asking them both to 
come to her large house, he had begged his niece to go and leave him 
alone. " You need not regard me," he had said, speaking not with 
the whining voice of complaint, but with that thin tinge of melancholy 
which was usual to him. "I am so much alone down at Allington, 
that you need not mind leaving me." But Lily would not go on those 
terms, and therefore they still lived together in the lodgings. Never- 
theless Lily was every day at Mrs. Thome's house, and thus a great 
intimacy grew up between the girls. Emily Dunstable had neither 
brother nor sister, and Lily's nearest male relative in her own degree 
was now Miss Dunstable's betrothed husband. It was natural therefore 
that they should at any rate try to like each other. It afterwards came 
to pass that Lily did go to Mrs. Thome's house, and she stayed there for 
awhile ; but when that occurred the squire had gone back to Allington. 
Among other generous kindnesses Mrs. Thome insisted that Bernard 
should hire a horse for his cousin Lily. Emily Dunstable rode daily, 
and of course Captain Dale rode with her ; and now Lily joined the 



83 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

party. Almost before she knew what was being done she found herself 
provided with hat and habit and horse and whip. It was a way with 
Mrs. Thorne that they who came within the influence of her immediate 
sphere should be made to feel that the comforts and luxuries arising 
from her wealth belonged to a common stock, and were the joint pro- 
perty of them all. Things were not offered and taken and talked about, 
but they made their appearance, and were used as a matter of course. 
If you go to stay at a gentleman's house you understand that, as a 
matter of course, you will be provided with meat and drink. Some 
hosts furnish you also with cigars. A small number give you stabling 
and forage for your horse ; and a very select few mount you on hunting 
days, and send you out with a groom and a second horse. Mrs. Thorne 
went beyond all others in this open-handed hospitality. She had 
enormous wealth at her command, and had but few of those all- 
absorbing drains upon wealth which in this country make so many rich 
men poor. She had no family property, no place to keep up in 
which she did not live. She had no retainers to be maintained because 
they were retainers. She had neither sons nor daughters. Conse- 
quently she was able to be lavish in her generosity ; and as her heart 
was very lavish, she would have given her friends gold to eat had gold 
been good for eating. Indeed there was no measure in her giving, 
unless when the idea came upon her that the recipient of her favours 
was trading on them. Then she could hold her hand very stoutly. 

Lily Dale had not liked the idea of being fitted out thus expensively. 
A box at the opera was all very well, as it was not procured especially 
for her. And tickets for other theatres did not seem to come unnatu- 
rally for a night or two. But her spirit had militated against the hat 
and the habit and the horse. The whip was a little present from 
Emily Dunstable, and that of course was accepted with a good grace. 
Then there came the horse, as though from the heavens; there 
seemed to be ten horses, twenty horses, if anybody needed them. All 
these things seemed to flow naturally into Mrs. Thome's establishment, 
like air through the windows. It was very pleasant, but Lily hesitated 
when she was told that a habit was to be given to her. " My dear old 
aunt insists," said Emily Dunstable. " Nobody ever thinks of refusing 
anything from her. If you only knew what some people will take, and 
some people will even ask, who have nothing to do with her at all ! " 
" But I have nothing to do with her, in that way I mean," said Lily. 
" Oh, yes, you have," said Emily. " You and Bernard are as good as 
brother and sister, and Bernard and I are as good as man and wife, and 
xny aunt and I are as good as mother and daughter. So you see, in a sort 



WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN "IT FOR YOURSELF ? 89 

of a way you are a child of the house." So Lily accepted the habit ; 
but made a stand at the hat, and paid for that out of her own pocket. 
When the squire had seen Lily on horseback he asked her questions 
about it. " It was a hired horse, I suppose ? " he said. " I think it 
came direct from heaven," said Lily. " What do you mean, Lily? " 
said the squire, angrily. " I mean that when people are so rich and 
good-natured as Mrs. Thorne it is no good inquiring where things come 
from. All that I know is that the horses come out of Potts' livery- 
stable. They talk of Potts as if he were a good-natured man who 
provides horses for the world without troubling anybody." Then the 
squire spoke to Bernard about it, saying that he should insist on 
defraying his niece's expenses. But Bernard swore that he could give 
his uncle no assistance. " I would not speak to her about such a thing 
for all the world," said Bernard. " Then I shall," said the squire. 

In those days Lily thought much of Johnny Eames, gave to him 
perhaps more of that thought which leads to love than she had ever 
given him before. She still heard the Crawley question discussed every 
day. Mrs. Thorne, as we all know, was at this time a Barsetshire 
personage, and was of course interested in Barsetshire subjects ; and 
she was specially anxious in the matter, having strong hopes with refer- 
ence to the marriage of Major Grantly and Grace, and strong hopes 
also that Grace's father might escape the fangs of justice. The Crawley 
case was constantly in Lily's ears, and as constantly she heard high 
praise awarded to Johnny for his kindness in going after the Arabins. 
"He must be a fine young fellow," said Mrs. Thorne, "and we'll 
have him down at Chaldicotes some day. Old Lord De Guest found 
him out and made a friend of him, and old Lord De Guest was no 
fool." Lily was not altogether free from a suspicion that Mrs. Thome 
knew the story of Johnny's love and was trying to serve Johnny, as 
other people had tried to do, very ineffectually. When this suspicion 
came upon her she would shut her heart against her lover's praises, 
and swear that she would stand by those two letters which she had 
written in her book at home. But the suspicion would not be always 
there, and there did come upon her a conviction that her lover was 
more esteemed among men and women than she had been accustomed 
to believe. Her cousin, Bernard Dale, who certainly was regarded in 
the world as somebody, spoke of him as his equal ; whereas in former 
clays Bernard had always regarded Johnny Eaines as standing low in 
the world's regard. Then Lily, when alone, would remember a certain 
comparison which she once made between Adolphus Crosbie and John 
Eames, when neither of the men had as yet pleaded his cause to her, 

IL XX. 3 S 



90 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

and which had been very much in favour of the former. She had then 
declared that Johnny was a " mere clerk." She had a higher opinion 
of him now, a much higher opinion, even though he could never be 
more to her than a friend. 

In these days Lily's new ally, Emily Dunstable, seemed to Lily to 
be so happy ! There was in Emily a complete realization of that idea 
of ante-nuptial blessedness of which Lily had often thought so much. 
AVhatever Emily did she did for Bernard ; and, to give Captain Dale 
his due, he received all the sweets- which were showered upon him with 
becoming signs of gratitude. I suppose it is always the case at such 
times that the girl has the best of it, and on this occasion Emily 
Dunstable certainly made the most of her happiness. "I do envy 
you," Lily said one day. The acknowledgment seemed to have been 
extorted from her involuntarily. She did not laugh as she spoke, or 
follow up what she had said with other words intended to take away 
the joke of what she had uttered, had it been a joke ; but she sat 
silent, looking at the girl who was re-arranging flowers which Bernard 
had brought to her. 

" I can't give him up to you, you know," said Emily. 

11 1 don't envy you him, but ' it,' " said Lily. 

" Then go and get an 'it' for yourself. Why don't you have an 'it' 
for yourself? You can have an 'it' to-morrow, if you like, or two or 
three, if all that I hear is true." 

" No, I can't," said Lily. " Things have gone wrong with me. 
Don't ask me anything more about it. Pray don't. I shan't speak of 
it if you do." 

" Of course I will not if you tell me I must not." 

"I do tell you so. I have been a fool to say anything about it. 
However, I have got over my envy now, and am ready to go out with 
your aunt. Here she is." 

" Things have gone wrong with me." She repeated the same words 
to herself over and over again. With all the efforts which she had 
made she could not quite reconcile herself to the two letters which she 
had written in the book. This coming up to London, and riding in 
the Park, and going to the theatres, seemed to unsettle her. At home 
she had schooled herself down into quiescence, and made herself think 
that she believed that she was satisfied with the prospects of her life. 
But now she was all astray again, doubting about herself, hankering 
after something over and beyond that which seemed to be allotted to 
her, but, nevertheless, assuring herself that she never would accept of 
anything else. 



WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN " IT " FOR YOURSELF ? 91 

I must not, if I can help it, let the reader suppose that she was 
softening her heart to John Eames because John Eames was spoken 
well of in the world. But with all of us, in the opinion which we form 
of those around us, we take unconsciously the opinion of others. A 
woman is handsome because the world says so. Music is charming to 
us because it charms others. We drink our wines with other men's 
palates, and look at our pictures with other men's eyes. When Lily 
heard John Eames praised by all around her, it could not be but that 
she should praise him too, not out loud, as others did, but in the 
silence of her heart. And then his constancy to her had been so 
perfect ! If that other one had never come ! If it could be that she 
might begin again, and that she might be spared that episode in her life 
which had brought him and her together ! 

"When is Mr. Eames going to be back?" Mrs. Thome said at 
dinner one day. On this occasion the squire was dining at Mrs. 
Thome's house ; and there were three or four others there, among 
them a Mr. Harold Smith, who was in Parliament, and his wife, and 
John Eames's especial friend, Sir Raffle Buffle. The question was 
addressed to the squire, but the squire was slow to answer, and it was 
taken up by Sir Baffle Buffle. 

"He'll 'be back on the 15th," said the knight, " unless he means 
to play truant. I hope he won't do that, as his absence has been a 
terrible inconvenience to me." Then Sir Raffle explained that John 
Eames was his private secretary, and that Johnny's journey to the 
Continent had been made with, and could not have been made without, 
his sanction. " When I came to hear the story, of course I told him 
that he must go. 'Eames,' I said, 'take the advice of a man who 
knows the world. Circumstanced as you are, you are bound to go.' 
And he went." 

" Upon my word that was very good-natured of you," said Mrs. 
Thorne. 

" I never keep a fellow to his desk who has really got impor- 
tant business elsewhere," said Sir Raffle. "The country, I say, can 
afford to do as much as that for her servants. But then I like to 
know that the business is business. One doesn't choose to be 
humbugged." 

' I daresay you are humbugged, as you call it, very often," said 
Harold Smith. 

" Perhaps so ; perhaps I am ; perhaps that is the opinion which 
they have of me at the Treasury. But you were hardly long enough 
there, Smith, to have learned much about it, I should say." 



02 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF 

" I don't suppose I should have known much about it, as you call 
it, if I had stayed till Doomsday." 

"I daresay not; I daresay not. Men -who begin as late as you 
did never know what official life really means. Now I've been at it all 
my life, and I think I do understand it." 

" It's not a profession I should like unless where it's joined with 
politics," said Harold Smith. 

" But then it's apt to be so short," said Sir Baffle Buffle. Now it 
had happened once in the life of Mr. Harold Smith that he had been in a 
Ministry, but, unfortunately, that Ministry had gone out almost within 
a week of the time of Mr. Smith's adhesion. Sir Baffle and Mr. Smith 
had known each other for many years, and were accustomed to make 
civil little speeches to each other in society. 

" I'd sooner be a horse in a mill than have* to go to an office every 
day," said Mrs. Smith, coming to her husband's assistance. " You, 
Sir Baffle, have kept yourself fresh and pleasant through it all ; but 
who besides you ever did ? " 

" I hope I am fresh," said Sir Baffle ; " and as for -pleasantness, I 
will leave that for you to determine." 

" There can be but one opinion," said Mrs. Thome. 

The conversation had strayed away from John Eames, and Lily was 
disappointed. It was a pleasure to her when people talked of him in 
her hearing, and as a question or two had been asked about him, making 
him the hero of the moment, it seemed to her that he was being robbed 
of his due when the little amenities between Mr. and Mrs. Harold Smith 
and Sir Baffle banished his name from the circle. Nothing more, how- 
ever, was said of him at dinner, and I fear that he would have been 
altogether forgotten throughout the evening, had not Lily herself referred, 
not to him, which she could not possibly have been induced to do, 
but to the subject of his journey. " I wonder whether poor Mr. Crawley 
will be found guilty ?" she said to Sir Baffle up in the drawing-room. 

" I am afraid he will ; I am afraid he will," said Sir Baffle ; " and 
I fear, my dear Miss Dale, that I must go further than that. I fear I 
must express an opinion that he is guilty." 

" Nothing will ever make me think so," said Lily. 

" Ladies are always tender-hearted," said Sir Baffle, " and especially 
young ladies, and especially pretty young ladies. I do not wonder 
that such should be your opinion. But you see, Miss Dale, a man of 
business has to look at these things in a business light. What I want 
to know is, where did he get the cheque ? He is bound to be explicit 
in answering that before anybody can acquit him." 



WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN " IT " FOB YOURSELF ? 93 

" That is just what Mr. Eames lias gone abroad to learn." 
" It is very well for Eames to go abroad, though, upon my word, 
I don't know whether I should not have given him different advice if I 
had known how much I was to be tormented by his absence. The 
thing couldn't have happened at a more unfortunate time ; the Ministry 
going out, and -everything. But, as I was saying, it is all very well for 
him to do what he can. He is related to them, and is bound to save 
the honour of his relations if it be possible. I like him for going. I 
always liked him. As I said to my friend De Guest, ' That young man 
will make his way.' And I rather fancy that the chance word which I 
spoke then to my valued old friend was not thrown away in Eames's 
favour. But, my dear Miss Dale, where did Mr. Crawley get that 
cheque ? That's what I want to know. If you can tell me that, then 
I can tell you whether or no he will be acquitted." 

Lily did not feel a strong prepossession in favour of Sir Baffle, 
in spite of his praise of John Eames. The harsh voice of the man 
annoyed her, and his egotism offended her. When, much later in the 
evening, his character came on for discussion between herself and Mrs. 
Thome and Emily Dunstable, she had not a word to say in his favour. 
But still she had been pleased to meet him, because he was the man 
with whom Johnny's life was most specially concerned. I think that a 
portion of her dislike to him arose from the fact that in continuing the 
conversation he did not revert to his private secretary, but preferred to 
regale her with stories of his own doings in wonderful cases which 
had partaken of interest similar to that which now attached itself to 
Mr. Crawley's case. He had known a man who had stolen a hundred 
pounds, and had never been found out ; and another man who had been 
arrested for stealing two -and- sixpence which was found afterwards 
sticking to a bit of butter at the bottom of a plate. Mrs. Thome had 
heard all this, and had answered him, " Dear me, Sir Raffle," she 
had said, " what a great many thieves you have had among your 
acquaintance ! " This had rather disconcerted him, and then there had 
been no more talking about Mr. Crawley. 

It had been arranged on this morning that Mr. Dale should return 
to Allington and leave Lily with Mrs. Thorne. Some special need of 
his presence at home, real or assumed, had arisen, and he had declared 
that he must shorten his stay in London by about half the intended 
period. The need would not have been so pressing, probably, had he 
not felt that Lily would be more comfortable with Mrs. Thorne than in 
his lodgings in Sackville Street. Lily had at first declared that she 
would return with him, but everybody had protested against this. 



94 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

Emily Dunstable had protested against it very stoutly ; Mrs. Dale 
herself had protested against it by letter; and Mrs. Thome's protest 
had been quite imperious in its nature. "Indeed, niy dear^ you'll do 
nothing of the kind. I'm sure your mother wouldn't wish it. I look 
upon it as quite essential that you and Emily should learn to know 
each other." " But we do know each other ; don't we, Emily ? " said 
Lily. "Not quite well yet," said Emily. Then Lily had laughed, 
and so the matter was settled. And now, on this present occasion, 
Mr. Dale was at Mrs. Thome's house for the last time. His conscience 
had been perplexed about Lily's horse, and if anything was to be said 
it must be said now. The subject was very disagreeable to him, and 
he was angry with Bernard because Bernard had declined to manage it 
for him after his own fashion. But he had told himself so often that 
anything was better than a pecuniary obligation, that he was determined 
to speak his mind to Mrs. Thorne, and to beg her to allow him to have 
his way. So he waited till the Harold Smiths were gone, and Sir 
Raffle Buffle, and then, when Lily was apart with Emily, for Bernard 
Dale had left them, he found himself at last alone with Mrs. Thorne. 

" I can't be too -much obliged to you," he said, " for your kindness 
to my girl." 

" Oh, laws, that's nothing," said Mrs. Thorne. " We look on her 
as one of us now." 

" I'm sure she is grateful, very grateful ; and so am I. She and 
Bernard have been brought up so much together that it is very desirable 
that she should be not unknown to Bernard's wife." 

" Exactly, that's just what I mean. Blood's thicker than water ; 
isn't it ? Emily's child, if she has one, will be Lily's cousin." 

" Her first-cousin once removed," said the squire, who was accurate 
in these matters. Then he drew himself up in his seat and compressed 
his lips together, and prepared himself for his task. It was very 
disagreeable. Nothing, he thought, could be more disagreeable. "I 
have a little thing to speak about," he said at last, " which I hope will 
not offend you." 

"About Lily?" 

" Yes ; about Lily." 

"I'm not very easily offended, and I don't know how I could pos- 
sibly be offended about her." 

"I'm an old-fashioned man, Mrs. Thorne, and don't know much 
about the ways of the world. I have always been down in the country, 
and maybe I have prejudices. You won't refuse to humour one of 
them, I hope ? " 



WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN " IT " FOB YOUBSELP ? 95 

" You're beginning to frighten me, Mr. Dale ; what is it ? " 

" About Lily's horse." 

" Lily's horse ! What about her horse ? I hope he's not vicious ? " 

" She is riding every day with your niece," said the squire, thinking 
it best to stick to his own point. 

" It will do her all the good in the world," said Mrs. Thorne. 

" Very likely. I don't doubt it. I do not in the least disapprove 
her riding. But " 

"But what, Mr. Dale?" 

" I should be so much obliged if I might be allowed to pay the 
livery-stable keeper's bill." 

" Oh, laws a' mercy." 

" I daresay it may sound odd, but as I have a fancy about it, I'm 
sure you'll gratify me." 

" Of course I will. I'll remember it. I'll make it all right with 
Bernard. Bernard and I have no end of accounts, or shall have 
before long, and we'll make an item of it. Then you can arrange 
with Bernard afterwards." 

Mr. Dale as he got up to go away felt that he was beaten, but he 
did not know how to carry the battle any further on that occasion. He 
could not take out his purse and put down the cost of the horse on the 
table. " I will then speak to my nephew about it," he said, very 
gravely, as he went away. And he did speak to his nephew about it, 
and even wrote to him more than once. But it was all to no purpose. 
Mr. Potts could not be induced to give a separate bill, and, so said 
Bernard, swore at last that he would furnish no account to anybody 
for horses that went to Mrs. Thome's door except to Mrs. Thorne 
herself. 

That night Lily took leave of her uncle and remained at Mrs. 
Thome's house. As things were now arranged she would, no doubt, be 
in London when John Eames returned. If he should find her in town 
and she told herself that if she was in town he certainly would find her, 
he would, doubtless, repeat to her the offer he had so often made before. 
She never ventured to tell herself that she doubted as to the answer to 
be made to him. The two letters were written in the book, and must 
remain there. But she felt that she would have had more courage for 
persistency down at Allington than she would be able to summon to 
her assistance up in London. She knew she would be weak, should 
she be found by him alone in Mrs. Thome's drawing-room. It would 
be better for her to make some excuse and go home. She was resolved 
that she would not become his wife. She could not extricate herself 



96 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

from the dominion of a feeling which she believed to be love for another 
man. She had given a solemn promise both to her mother and to 
John Eames that she would not marry that other man ; but in doing 
so she had made a solemn promise to herself that she would not marry 
John Eames. She had sworn it and would keep her oath. And yet 
she regretted it ! In writing home to her mother the next day, she told 
Mrs. Dale that all the world was speaking well of John Eames, that 
John had won for himself a reputation of his own, and was known far 
and wide to be a noble fellow. She could not keep herself from praising 
John Eames, though she knew that such praise might, and would, be 
used against her at some future time. " Though I cannot love him I 
vrill give him his due," she said to herself. 

" I wish you would make up your mind to have an ' it ' for your- 
self," Emily Dunstable said to her again that night; " a nice ' it,' so 
that I could make a friend, perhaps a brother, of him." 

"I shall never have an 'it,' if I live to be a hundred," said Lily 
Dale. 



CHAPTER LIII. 



ROTTEN ROW. 

ILY had heard nothing as to 
the difficulty about her horse, 
and could therefore enjoy her 
exercise without the drawback 
of feeling that her uncle was 
subjected to an annoyance. 
She was in the habit of going 
out every day with Bernard 
and Emily Dunstable, and their 
party was generally joined by 
others who would meet them 
at Mrs. Thome's house. For 
Mrs. Thorne was a very hos- 
pitable woman, and there were 
many who liked well enough 
to go to her house. Late in 
the afternoon there would be 
a great congregation of horses 
before the door, sometimes as many as a dozen ; and then the caval- 
cade would go off into the Park, and there it would become scattered. 
As neither Bernard nor Miss Dunstable were unconscionable lovers, 
Lily in these scatterings did not often find herself neglected or lost. 
Her cousin would generally remain with her, and as in those days she 
had no " it " of her own she was well pleased that he should do, so. 

But it so happened that on a certain afternoon she found herself 
riding in Rotten Row alone with a certain stout gentleman whom she 
constantly met at Mrs. Thome's house. His name was Onesiphorus 
Dunn, and he was usually called Siph by his intimate friends. It had 
ssemed to Lily that everybody was an intimate friend of Mr. Dunn's, 
and she was in daily fear lest she should make a mistake and call him 
Siph herself. Had she done so it would not have mattered in the 
least. Mr. Dunn, had he observed it at all, would neither have been 
flattered nor angry. A great many young ladies about London did call 
him Siph, and to him it was quite natural that they should do so. He 
II. xxi. T T 




98 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAKSET. 

was an Irishman, living on the best of everything in the world, with 
apparently no fortune of his own, and certainly never earning anything. 
Everybody liked him, and it was admitted on all sides that there was 
no safer friend in the world, either for young ladies or young men, than 
Mr. Onesiphorus Dunn. He did not borrow money, and he did not 
encroach. He did like being asked out to dinner, and he did think 
that they to whom he gave the light of his countenance in town owed 
him the return of a week's run in the country. He neither shot, nor 
hunted nor fished, nor read, and yet he was never in the way in any 
house. He did play billiards, and whist, and croquet very badly. He 
was a good judge of wine, and would occasionally condescend to look 
after the bottling of it on behalf of some very intimate friend. Ho 
was a great friend of Mrs. Thome's, with whom he always spent ten 
days in the autumn at Chaldicotes. 

Bernard and Emily were not insatiable lovers, but, nevertheless, 
Mrs. Thorne had thought it proper to provide a fourth in the riding- 
parties, and had put Mr. Dunn upon this duty. " Don't bother yourself 
about it, Siph," she had said ; " only if those lovers should go off phi- 
landering out of sight, our little country lassie might find herself to be 
nowhere in the Park." Siph had promised to make himself useful, and 
had done so. There had generally been so large a number in their 
party that the work imposed on Mr. Dunn had been very light. Lily 
had never found out that he had been especially consigned to her as 
her own cavalier, but had seen quite enough of him to be aware that he 
was a pleasant companion. To her, thinking, as she ever was thinking, 
about Johnny Eames, Siph was much more agreeable than might have 
been a younger man who would have endeavoured to make her think 
about himself. 

Thus when she found herself riding alone in Kotten Eow with 
Siph Dunn, she was neither disconcerted nor displeased. He had 
been talking to her about Lord De Guest, whom he had known, for 
Siph knew everybody, and Lily had begun to wonder whether he 
knew John Eames. She would have liked to hear the opinion of such 
a man about John Eames. She was making up her mind that she 
would say something about the Crawley matter, not intending of 
course to mention John Eames's name, when suddenly her tongue was 
paralyzed and she could not speak. At that moment they were 
standing near a corner, where a turning path made an angle in the iron 
rails, Mr. Dunn having proposed that they should wait there for a few 
minutes before they returned home, as it was probable that Bernard and 
Miss Dunstable might come up v They had been there for some five or 



ROTTEN ROW. 99 

ten minutes, and Lily had asked her first question about the Crawleys, 
inquiring of Mr. Dunn whether he had heard of a terrible accusation 
which had been made against a clergyman in Barsetshire, when on a 
sudden her tongue was paralyzed. As they were standing, Lily's horse 
was turned towards the diverging path, whereas Mr. Dunn was looking 
the other way, towards Achilles and Apsley house. Mr. Dunn was 
nearer to the railings, but though they were thus looking different ways 
they were so placed that each could see the face of the other. Then, 
on a sudden, coming slowly towards her along the diverging path and 
leaning on the arm of another man, she saw, Adolphus Crosbie. 

She had never seen him since a day on which she had parted 
from him with many kisses, with warm, pressing, eager kisses, of 
which she had been nowhat ashamed. He had then been to her 
almost as her husband. She had trusted him entirely, and had 
thrown herself into his arms with a full reliance. There is often 
much of reticence on the part of a woman towards a man to whom she 
is engaged, something also of shamefacedness occasionally. There exists 
a shadow of doubt, at least of that hesitation which shows that in spite 
of vows the woman knows that a change may come, and that provision 
for such possible steps backward should always be within her reach. 
But Lily had cast all such caution to the winds. She had given herself 
to the man entirely, and had determined that she would sink or swim, 
stand or fall, live or die, by him and by his truth. He had been as false 
as .hell. She had been in his arms, clinging to him, kissing him, 
swearing that her only pleasure in the world was to be with him, with 
him her treasure, her promised husband ; and within a month, a week, 
he had been false to her. There had come upon her crushing tidings, 
and she had for days wondered at herself that they had not killed her. 
But she had lived, and had forgiven him. She had still loved him, and 
had received new offers from him, which had been answered as the 
reader knows. But she had never seen him since the day on which 
she had parted from him at Allington, without a doubt as to his faith. 
Now he was before her, walking on the footpath, almost within reach 
of her whip. 

He did not recognize her, but as he passed on he did recognize 
Mr. Onesiphorus Dunn, and stopped to speak to him. Or it might 
have been that Crosbie's friend Fowler Pratt stopped with this special 
object, for Siph Dunn was an intimate friend of Fowler Pratt's. 
Crosbie and Siph were also acquainted, but in those days Crosbie did 
not care much for stopping his friends in the Park or elsewhere. He 
had become moody and discontented, and was generally seen going 

T T2 



100 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

about the world alone. On this special occasion he was having a little 
special conversation about money with his very old friend Fowler Pratt. 

"What, Siph, is this you? You're always on horseback now," 
said Fowler Pratt. 

" Well, yes ; I have gone in a good deal for cavalry work this last 
month. I've been lucky enough to have a young lady to ride with me." 
This he said in a whisper, which the distance of Lily justified. " How 
d'ye do, Crosbie ? One doesn't often see you on horseback, or on foot 
either." 

" I've something to do besides going to look or to be looked at," 
said Crosbie. Then he raised his eyes and saw Lily's side-face, and 
recognized her. Had he seen her before he had been stopped on his 
way I think he would have passed on, endeavouring to escape observa- 
tion. But as it was, his feet had been arrested before he knew of her 
close vicinity, and now it would seem that he was afraid of her, and 
was flying from her, were he at once to walk off, leaving his friend 
behind him. And he knew that she had seen him, and had recognized 
him, and was now suffering from his presence. He could not but 
perceive that it was so from the fixedness of her face, and from the 
constrained manner in which she gazed before her. His friend Fowler 
Pratt had never seen Miss Dale, though he knew very much of her 
history. Siph Dunn knew nothing of the history of Crosbie and his 
love, and was unaware that he and Lily had ever seen each other. 
There was thus no help near her to extricate her from her difficulty. 

" When a man has any work to do in the world," said Siph, " he 
always boasts of it to his acquaintance, and curses his luck to himself. 
I have nothing to do and can go about to see and to be seen ; and I 
must own that I like it." 

" Especially the being seen, eh, Siph ? " said Fowler Pratt. " I 
also have nothing on earth to do, and I come here every day because it 
is as easy to do that as to go anywhere else." 

Crosbie was still looking at Lily. He could not help himself. He 
could not take his eyes from off her. He could see that she was as 
pretty as ever, that she was but very little altered. She was, in truth, 
somewhat stouter than in the old days, but of that he took no special 
notice. Should he speak to her ? Should he try to catch her eye, and 
then raise his hat ? Should he go up to her horse's head boldly, and ask 
her to let bygones be bygones ? He had an idea that of all courses 
which he could pursue that was the one which she would approve the best, 
which would be most efficacious for him, if with her anything from 
him might have any efficacy. But he could not do it. He did not know 



ROTTEN HOW. 101 

what words lie might best use. Would it become him humbly to sue 
to her for pardon ? Or should he strive to express his unaltered love by 
some tone of his voice ? Or should he simply ask her after her health ? 
He made one step towards her, and he saw that the face became more 
rigid and more fixed than before, and then he desisted. He told himself 
that he was simply hateful to her. He thought that he could perceive 
that there was no tenderness mixed with her unabated anger. 

At this moment Bernard Dale and Emily came close upon him, and 
Bernard saw him at once. It was through Bernard that Lily and 
Crosbie had come to know each other. He and Bernard Dale had been 
fast friends in old times, and had, of course, been bitter enemies since 
the day of Crosbie' s treachery. They had never spoken since, though 
they had often seen each other, and Dale was not at all disposed to 
speak to him now. The moment thai he recognized Crosbie he looked 
across to his cousin. For an instant, an idea had flashed across him 
that he was there by her permission, with her assent ; but it required 
no second glance to show him that this was not the case. "Dunn," 
he said, " I think we will ride on," and he put his horse into a trot. 
Siph, whose ear was very accurate, and who knew at once that some- 
thing was wrong, trotted on with him, and Lily, of course, was not left 
behind. " Is there anything the matter ? " said Emily to her lover. 

" Nothing specially the matter," he replied ; " but you were stand- 
ing in company with the greatest blackguard that ever lived, and I 
thought we had better change our ground." 

" Bernard ! " said Lily, flashing on him with all the fire which her 
eyes could command. Then she remembered that she could not re- 
primand him for the offence of such abuse in such a company ; so she 
reined in her horse and fell a-weeping. 

Siph Dunn, with his wicked cleverness, knew the whole story at once, 
remembering that he had once heard something of Crosbie having behaved 
very ill to some one before he married Lady Alexandrina De Courcy. 
He stopped his horse also, falling a little behind Lily, so that he might 
not be supposed to have seen her tears, and began to hum a tune. 
Emily also, though not wickedly clever, understood something of it. 
" If Bernard says anything to make you angry, I will scold him," she 
said. Then the two girls rode on together in front, while Bernard fell 
back with Siph Dunn. 

" Pratt," said Crosbie, putting his hand on his friend's shoulder as 
soon as the party had ridden out of hearing, " do you see that girl 
there in the dark blue habit ? " 

" What, the one nearest to the path ? " 



102 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

" Yes ; the one nearest to the path. That is Lily Dale." 

" Lily Dale ! " said Fowler Pratt. 

" Yes ; that is Lily Dale." 

" Did you speak to her ? " Pratt asked. 

"No; she gave me no chance. She was there but a moment. 
But it was herself. It seems so odd to me that I should have been 
thus so near her again." If there was any man to whom Crosbie 
could have spoken freely about Lily Dale it was this man, Fowler 
Pratt. Pratt was the oldest friend he had in the world, and it had 
happened that when he first woke to the misery that he had prepared 
for himself in throwing over Lily and betrothing himself to his late wife, 
Pratt had been the first person to whom he had communicated his 
sorrow. Not that he had ever been really open in his communications. 
It is not given to such men as Crosbie to speak openly of themselves 
to their friends. Nor, indeed, was Fowler Pratt one who was fond of 
listening to such tales. He had no such tales to tell of himself, and he 
thought that men and women should go through the world quietly, not 
subjecting themselves or their acquaintances to anxieties and emotions 
from peculiar conduct. But he was conscientious, and courageous also 
as well as prudent, and he had dared to tell Crosbie that he was 
behaving very badly. He had spoken his mind plainly, and had then 
given all the assistance in his power. 

He paused a moment before he replied, weighing, like a prudent 
man, the force of the words he was about to utter. "It is much better 
as it is," he said. " It is much better that you should be as strangers 
for the future." 

" I do not see that at all," said Crosbie. They were both leaning 
on the rails, and so they remained for the next twenty minutes. " I 
do not see that at all." 

" I feel sure of it. What could come of any renewed intercourse, 
even if she would allow it ? " 

" I might make her my wife." 

" And do you think that you would be happy with her, or she with 
you, after what has passed ? " 

"I do think so." 

" I do not. It might be possible that she should bring herself to 
marry you. Women delight to forgive injuries. They like the excite- 
ment of generosity. But she could never forget that you had had a 
former wife, or the circumstances under which you were married. And 
as for yourself, you would regret it after the first month. How could 
you ever speak to her of your love without speaking also of your shame ? 



ROTTEN BOW. 103 

If a man does many he should at least be able to hold up his head 
before his wife." 

This was very severe, but Crosbie showed no anger. "I think I 
should do so," he said, " after a while." 

" And then, about money ? Of course you would have to tell her 
every thing." 

" Everything of course." 

" It is like enough that she might not regard that, except that she 
would feel that if you could not afford to marry her when you were 
unembarrassed, you can hardly afford to do so when you are over head 
and ears in debt." 

" She has money now." 

"After all that has come and gone you would hardly seek Lily 
Dale because you want to marry a fortune." 

" You are too hard on me, Pratt. You know that my only reason 
for seeking her is that I love her." 

"I do not mean to be hard. But I have a very strong opinion 
that the quarrels of lovers, when they are of so very serious a nature, 
are a bad basis for the renewal of love. Come, let us go and dress for 
dinner. I am going to dine with Mrs. Thome, the millionnaire, who 
married a country doctor, and who used to be called Miss Dunstable." 

" I never dine out anywhere now," said Crosbie. And then they 
walked out of the Park together. Neither of them, of course, knew 
that Lily Dale was staying at the house at which Fowler Pratt was 
going to dine. 

Lily, as she rode home, did not speak a word. She would have 
given worlds to be able to talk, but she could not even make a 
beginning. She heard Bernard and Siph Dunn chatting behind her, 
and hoped that they would continue to do so till she was safe within 
the house. They all used her well, for no one tried to draw her into 
conversation. Once Emily said to her, " Shall we trot a little, Lily ? " 
And then they had moved on quickly, and the misery was soon over. 
As soon as she was upstairs in the house, she got Emily by herself, 
and explained all the mystery in a word or two. " I fear I have made 
a fool of myself. That was the man to whom I was once engaged." 
"What, Mr. Crosbie?" said Emily, who had heard the whole story 
from Bernard. "Yes, Mr. Crosbie ; pray, do not say a word of it to 
anybody, not even to your aunt. I am better now, but I was such a 
fool. No, dear ; I won't go into the drawing-room. I'll go upstairs, 
and come down ready for dinner." 

When she was alone she sat down in her habit, and declared to 



104 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

herself that she certainly would never become the wife of Mr. Crosbie. 
I do not know why she should make such a declaration. She had 
promised her mother and John Eames that she would not do so, and 
that promise would certainly have bound her without any further 
resolutions on her own part. But, to tell the truth, the vision of the 
man had disenchanted her. When last she had seen him he had been 
as it were a god to her ; and though, since that day, his conduct to 
her had been as ungodlike as it well might be, still the memory of the 
outward signs of his divinity had remained with her. It is difficult to 
explain how it had come to pass that the glimpse which she had had of 
him should have altered so much within her mind ; why she should 
so suddenly have come to regard him in an altered light. It was not 
simply that he looked to be older, and because his face was careworn. 
It was not only that he had lost that look of an Apollo which Lily 
had once in her mirth attributed to him. I think it was chiefly that 
she herself was older, and could no longer see a god in such a man. 
She had never regarded John Eames as being gifted with divinity, and 
had therefore always been making comparisons to his discredit. Any 
such comparison now would tend quite the other way. Nevertheless 
she would adhere to the two letters in her book. Since she had seen 
Mr. Crosbie she was altogether out of love with the prospect of 
matrimony. 

She was in the room when Mr. Pratt was announced, and she at 
once recognized him as the man who had been with Crosbie. And 
when, some minutes afterwards, Siph Dunn came into the room, she 
could see that in their greeting allusion was made to the scene in the 
Park. But still it was probable that this man would not recognize her, 
and, if he did so, what would it matter ? There were twenty people to 
sit down to dinner, and the chances were that she would not be called 
upon to exchange a word with Mr. Pratt. She had now recovered 
herself, and could speak freely to her friend Siph, and when Siph 
came and stood near her she thanked him graciously for his escort in 
the Park. " If it wasn't for you, Mr. Dunn, I really think I should not 
get any riding at all. Bernard and Miss Dunstable have only one thing 
to think about, and certainly I am not that one thing." She thought it 
probable that if she could keep Siph close to her, Mrs. Thorne, who 
always managed those things herself, might apportion her out to be led 
to dinner by her good-natured friend. But the fates were averse. The 
time had now come, and Lily was waiting her turn. "Mr. Fowler 
Pratt, let me introduce you to Miss Lily Dale," said Mrs. Thorne. 
Lily could perceive that Mr. Pratt was startled. The sign he gave was 



EOTTEN ROW. 105 

the least possible sign in the world ; but still it sufficed for Lily to per- 
ceive it. She put her hand upon his arm, and walked down with him 
to the dining-room without giving him the slightest cause to suppose that 
she knew who he was. 

" I think I saw you in the Park riding ? " he said. 

" Yes, I was there ; we go nearly every day." 

" I never ride ; I was walking." 

" It seems to me that the people don't go there to walk, but to 
stand still," said Lity. " I cannot understand how so many people can 
bear to loiter about in that way leaning on the rails and doing nothing." 

" It is about as good as the riding, and costs less money. That is 
all that can be said for it. Do you live chiefly in town ? " 

" dear, no ; I live altogether in the country. I'm only up here 
because a cousin is going to be married." 

" Captain Dale you mean to Miss Dunstable ?" said Fowler Pratt. 

" When they have been joined together in holy matrimony, I shall 
go down to the country, and never, I suppose, come up to London again." 

" You do not like London'? " 

"Not as a residence, I think," said Lily. "But of course one's 
likings and dislikings on such a matter depend on circumstances. I 
live with my mother, and all my relatives live near us. Of course I like 
the country best, because they are there." 

11 Young ladies so often have a different way of looking at this 
subject. I shouldn't wonder if Miss Dunstable's views about it were 
altogether of another sort. Young ladies generally expect to be 
taken away from their fathers and mothers, and uncles and aunts." 

" But you see I expect to be left with mine," said Lily. After that 
she turned as much away from Mr. Fowler Pratt as she could, having 
taken an aversion to him. What business had he to talk to her about 
being taken away from her uncles and aunts ? She had seen him with 
Mr. Crosbie, and it might be possible that they were intimate friends. 
It might be that Mr. Pratt was asking questions in Mr. Crosbie's interest. 
Let that be as it might, she would answer no more questions from him 
further than ordinary good breeding should require of her. 

' ' She is a nice girl, certainly, ' ' said Fowler Pratt to himself, as he 
walked home, '' and I have no doubt would make a good, ordinary, every- 
day wife. But she is not such a paragon that a man should condescend 
to grovel in the dirt for her." 

That night Lily told Emily Dunstable the whole of Mr. Crosbie's 
history as far as she knew it, and also explained her new aversion to 
Mr. Fowler Pratt. Thev are very great friends," said Emily. 



106 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

"Bernard has told me so; and you may be sure that Mr. Pratt 
knew the whole history before he came here. I am so sorry that 
my aunt asked him." 

"It does not signify in the least," said Lily. " Even if I were to 
meet Mr. Crosbie I don't think I should make such a fool of myself 
again. As it is, I can only hope he did not see it." 

"I am sure he did not." 

Then there was a pause, during which Lily sat with her face resting 
on both her hands. "It is wonderful how much he is altered," she 
said at last. 

(< Think how much he has suffered." 

"I suppose I am altered as much, only I do not see it in myself." 

"I don't know what you were, but I don't think you can have 
changed much. You no doubt have suffered too, but not as he has 
done." 

" Oh, as for that, I have done very well. I think I'll go to bed 
now. The riding makes me so sleepy." 



CHAPTER LIV. 
THE CLERICAL COMMISSION. 

IT was at last arranged that the five clergymen selected should meet at 
Dr. Tempest's house in Silverbridge to make inquiry and report to the 
bishop whether the circumstances connected with the cheque for twenty 
pounds were of such a nature as to make it incumbent on him to 
institute proceedings against Mr. Crawley in the Court of Arches. 
Dr. Tempest had acted upon the letter which he had received from 
the bishop, exactly as though there had been no meeting at the palace, 
no quarrel to the death between him and Mrs. Proudie. He was a 
prudent man, gifted with the great power of holding his tongue, and 
had not spoken a word, even to his wife, of what had occurred. After 
such a victory our old friend the archdeacon would have blown his 
own trumpet loudly among his friends. Plumstead would have heard 
of it instantly, and the paean would have been sung out in the neigh- 
bouring parishes of Eiderdown, Stogpingum, and St. E wolds. The 
high- street of Barchester would have known of it, and the very bedes- 
men in Hiram's Hospital would have told among themselves the terrible 
discomfiture of the bishop and his lady. But Dr. Tempest spoke no 
word of it to anybody. He wrote letters to the two clergymen named by 



THE CLEEICAL COMMISSION. 107 

the bishop, and himself selected two others out of his own rural 
deanery, and suggested to them all a day at which a preliminary 
meeting should be held at his own house: The two who were invited 
by him were Mr. Oriel, the rector of Greshamsbury, and Mr. Robarts, 
the vicar of Framley. They all assented to the proposition, and on the 
day named assembled themselves at Silverbridge. 

It was now April, and the judges were to come into Barchester 
before the end of the month. What then could be the use of this 
ecclesiastical inquiry exactly at the same time ? Men and women 
declared that it was a double prosecution, and that a double prosecu- 
tion for the same offence was a course of action opposed to the feelings 
and traditions of the country. Miss Anne Prettyman went so far as 
to say that it was unconstitutional, and Mary Walker declared that no 
human being except Mrs. Proudie would ever have been guilty of such 
cruelty. "Don't tell me about the bishop, John," she said; "the 
bishop is a cypher." "You may be sure Dr. Tempest would not have 
a hand in it if it were not right," said John Walker. "My dear 
Mr. John," said Miss Anne Prettyman, "Dr. Tempest is as hard as a 
bar of iron, and always was. But I am surprised that Mr. Robarts 
should take a part in it." 

In the meantime, at the palace, Mrs. Proudie had been reduced to 
learn what was going on from Mr. Thumble. The bishop had never 
spoken a word to her respecting Mr. Crawley since that terrible day on 
which Dr. Tempest had witnessed his imbecility, having absolutely 
declined to answer when his wife had mentioned the subject. " You 
won't speak to me about it, my dear ? " she had said to him, when he had 
thus declined, remonstrating more in sorrow than in anger. " No ; 
I won't," the bishop had replied; "there has been a great deal too 
much talking about it. It has broken my heart already, I know." 
These were very bad days in the palace. Mrs. Proudie affected to be 
satisfied with what was being done. She talked to Mr. Thumble about 
Mr. Crawley and the cheque, as though everything were arranged quite 
to her satisfaction, as though everything, indeed, had been arranged by 
herself. But everybody about the house could see that the manner of 
the woman was altogether altered. She was milder than usual with the 
servants and was almost too gentle in her usage of her husband. It 
seemed as though something had happened to frighten her and break her 
spirit, and it was whispered about through the palace that she was afraid 
that the bishop was dying. As for him, he hardly left his own sitting-room 
in these days, except when he joined the family at breakfast and at dinner. 
And in his study he did little or nothing. He would smile when his 



108 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BABSET. 

chaplain went to him, and give some trifling verbal directions ; but for 
days he scarcely ever took a pen in his hands, and though he took up 
many books he read hardly a page. How often he told his wife in 
those days that he was broken-hearted, no one but his wife ever knew. 

" What has happened that you should speak like that ? " she said to 
him once. " What has broken your heart ? " 

" You," he replied. " You ; you have done it." 

" Oh, Tom," she said, going back into the memory of very far 
distant days in her nomenclature, " how can you speak to me so cruelly 
as that ! That it should come to that between you and me, after ah 1 ! " 

" Why did you not go away and leave me that day when I told you ? " 

"Did you ever know a woman who liked to be turned out of a room 
in her own house ? " said Mrs. Proudie. When Mrs. Proudie had con- 
descended so far as this, it must be admitted that in those days there 
was great trouble in the palace. 

Mr. Thumble, on the day before he went to Silverbridge, asked for 
an audience with the bishop in order that he might receive instructions. 
He had been strictly desired to do this by Mrs. Proudie, and had not 
dared to disobey her injunctions, thinking, however, himself, that his 
doing so was inexpedient. " I have got nothing to say to you about it ; 
not a word," said the bishop crossly. "I thought that perhaps you 
might like to see me before I started," pleaded Mr. Thumble very 
humbly. " I don't want to see you at all," said the bishop; " you are 
going there to exercise your own judgment, if you have got any ; and 
you ought not to come to me." After that Mr. Thumble began to think 
that Mrs. Proudie was right, and that the bishop was near his dissolution. 

Mr. Thumble and Mr. Quiverful went over to Silverbridge together 
in a gig, hired from the Dragon of Wantly as to the cost of which 
there arose among them a not unnatural apprehension which amounted 
at last almost to dismay. "I don't mind it so much for once," said 
Mr. Quiverful, " but if many such meetings are necessary, I for one 
can't afford it, and I won't do it. A man with my family can't allow 
himself to be money out of pocket in that way." "It is hard," said 
Mr. Thumble. " She ought to pay it herself, out of her own pocket," 
said Mr. Quiverful. He had had concerns with the palace when 
Mrs. Proudie was in the full swing of her dominion, and had not as 
yet begun to suspect that there might possibly be a change. 

Mr. Oriel and Mr. Eobarts were already sitting with Dr. Tempest 
when the other two clergymen were shown into the room. When the 
first greetings were over luncheon was announced, and while they were 
eating not a word was said about Mr. Crawley. The ladies of the 



THE CLERICAL COMMISSION. 109 

family were not present, and the five clergymen sat round the table 
alone. It would have been difficult to have got together five gentlemen 
less likely to act with one mind and one spirit ; and perhaps it was all 
the better for Mr. Crawley that it should be so. Dr. Tempest himself 
was a man peculiarly capable of exercising the functions of a judge in 
such a matter, had he sat alone as a judge ; but he was one who would 
be almost sure to differ from others who sat as equal assessors with him. 
Mr. Oriel was a gentleman at all points ; but he was very shy, very 
reticent, and altogether uninstructed in the ordinary daily intercourse 
of man with man. Any one knowing him might have predicted of him 
that he would be sure on such an occasion as this to be found flounder- 
ing in a sea of doubts. Mr. Quiverful was the father of a large family, 
whose whole life had been devoted to fighting a cruel world on behalf 
of his wife and children. That fight he had fought bravely ; but it 
had left him no energy for any other business. Mr. Thumble was a 
poor creature, so poor a creature that, in spite of a small restless 
ambition to be doing something, he was almost cowed by the hard lines 
of Dr. Tempest's brow. The Rev. Mark Robarts was a man of the 
world, and a clever fellow, and did not stand in awe of anybody, 
unless it might be, in a very moderate degree, of his patrons the 
Luftons, whom he was bound to respect ; but his cleverness was not 
the cleverness needed by a judge. He was essentially a partisan, and 
would be sure to vote against the bishop in such a matter as this now 
before him. There was a palace faction in the diocese, and an anti- 
palace faction. Mr. Thumble and Mr. Quiverful belonged to one, 
and Mr. Oriel and Mr. Robarts to the other. Mr. Thumble was 
too weak to stick to his faction against the strength of such a man 
as Dr. Tempest. Mr. Quiverful would be too indifferent to do so, 
unless his interest were concerned. Mr. Oriel would be too con- 
scientious to regard his own side on such an occasion as this. But 
Mark Robarts would be sure to support his friends and oppose his 
enemies, let the case be what it might. "Now, gentlemen, if you 
please, we will go into the other room," said Dr. Tempest. They went 
into the other room, and there they found five chairs arranged for them 
round the table. Not a word had as yet been said about Mr. Crawley, 
and no one of the four strangers knew whether Mr. Crawley was to 
appear before them on that day or not. 

" Gentlemen," said Dr. Tempest, seating himself at once in an arm- 
chair placed at the middle of the table, " I think it will be well to 
explain to you at first what, as I regard the matter, is the extent of the 
work which we are called upon to perform. It is of its nature very 



110 THE LAST CHKONICLE OP BABSET. 

disagreeable. It cannot but be so, let it be ever so limited. Here is 
a brother clergyman and a gentleman, living among us, and doing his 
duty, as we are told, in a most exemplary manner ; and suddenly we 
hear that he is accused of a theft. The matter is brought before the 
magistrates, of whom I myself was one, and he was committed for trial. 
There is therefore prima facie evidence of his guilt. But I do not 
think that we need go into the question of his guilt at all." When he 
said this, the other four all looked up at him in astonishment. " I 
thought that we had been summoned here for that purpose," said Mr. 
Robarts. "Not at all, as I take it," said the doctor. "Were we to 
commence any such inquiry, the jury would have given their verdict 
before we could come to any conclusion ; and it would be impossible 
for us to oppose that verdict, whether it declares this unfortunate 
gentleman to be innocent or to be guilty. If the jury shall say that he 
is innocent, there is an end of the matter altogether. He would go 
back to his parish amidst the sympathy and congratulations of his 
friends. That is what we should all wish." 

" Of course it is," said Mr. Robarts. They all declared that was 
their desire, as a matter of course ; and Mr. Thumble said it louder 
than any one else. 

" But if he be found guilty, then will come that difficulty to the 
bishop, in which we are bound to give him any assistance within our 
power." 

" Of course we are," said Mr. Thumble, who, having heard his own 
voice once, and having liked the sound, thought that he might creep 
into a little importance by using it on any occasion that opened itself 
for him. 

" If you will allow me, sir, I will venture to state my views as 
shortly as I can," said Dr. Tempest. " That may perhaps be the most 
expeditious course for us all in the end." 

" Oh, certainly," said Mr. Thumble. " I didn't mean to interrupt." 

" In the case of his being found guilty," continued the doctor, 
" there will arise the question whether the punishment awarded to him 
by the judge should suffice for ecclesiastical purposes. Suppose, for 
instance, that he should be imprisoned for two months, should he be 
allowed to return to his living at the expiration of that term ? " 

" I think he ought," said Mr. Robarts ; " considering all things." 

"I don't see why he shouldn't," said Mr. Quiverful. 

Mr. Oriel sat listening patiently, and Mr. Thumble looked up to 
the doctor, expecting to hear some opinion expressed by him with which 
he might coincide. 



THE CLEBICAL COMMISSION. Ill 

" There certainly are reasons why he should not," said Dr. Tempest ; 
" though I by no means say that those reasons are conclusive in the 
present case. In the first place, a man who has stolen money can 
hardly be a fitting person to teach others not to steal." 

" You must look to the circumstances," said Robarts. 

" Yes, that is true ; but just bear with me a moment. It cannot, 
at any rate, be thought that a clergyman should come out of prison 
and go to his living without any notice from his bishop, simply because 
he has already been punished under the common law. If this were so, 
a clergyman might be fined ten days running for being drunk in the 
street, five shillings each time, and at the end of that time might 
set his bishop at defiance. When a clergyman has shown himself to 
be utterly unfit for clerical duties, he must not be held to be protected 
from ecclesiastical censure or from deprivation by the action of the 
common law." 

"But Mr. Crawley has not shown himself to be unfit," said 
Robarts. 

" That is begging the question, Robarts," said the doctor. 

"Just so," said Mr. Thumble. Then Mr. Robarts gave a look at 
Mr. Thumble, and Mr. Thumble retired into his shoes. 

' ' That is the question as to which we are called upon to advise the 
bishop," continued Dr. Tempest. "And I must say that I think the 
bishop is right. If he were to allow the matter to pass by without 
notice, that is to say, in the event of Mr. Crawley being pronounced 
to be guilty by a jury, he would, I think, neglect his duty. Now, I 
have been informed that the bishop has recommended Mr. Crawley to 
desist from his duties till the trial be over, and that Mr. Crawley has 
declined to take the bishop's advice. 

"That is true," said Mr. Thumble. "He altogether disregarded 
the bishop." 

"I cannot say that I think he was wrong," said Dr. Tempest. 

"I think he was quite right," said Mr. Robarts. 

"A bishop in almost all cases is entitled to the obedience of his 
clergy," said Mr. Oriel. 

" I must say that I agree with you, sir," said Mr. Thumble. 

" The income is not large, and I suppose that it would have gone 
with the duties," said Mr. Quiverful. "It is very hard for a man with 
a family to live when his income has been stopped." 

" Be that as it may," continued the doctor, "the bishop feels that 
it may be his duty to oppose the return of Mr. Crawley to his pulpit, 
and that he can oppose it in no other way than by proceeding against 



112 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BARSET. 

Mr. Crawley under the Clerical Oifences Act. I propose, therefore, that 
we should invite Mr. Crawley to attend here " 

" Mr. Crawley is not coming here to-day, then ?" said Mr. Robarts. 

"I thought it useless to ask for his attendance until we had settled 
on our course of action," said Dr. Tempest. " If we are all agreed, I 
will beg him to come here on this day week, when we will meet again. 
And we will then ask him whether he will submit himself to the bishop's 
decision, in the event of the jury finding him guilty. If he should 
decline to do so, we can only then form our opinion as to what will be 
the bishop's duty by reference to the facts as they are elicited at the 
trial. If Mr. Crawley should choose to make to us any statement as to 
his own case, of course we shall be willing to receive it. That is my 
idea of what had better be done ; and now, if any gentleman has any 
other proposition to make, of course we shall be pleased to hear him." 
Dr. Tempest, as he said this, looked round upon his companions, as though 
his pleasure, under the circumstances suggested by himself, would be 
very doubtful. 

" I don't suppose we can do anything better," said Mr. Robarts. 
" I think it a pity, however, that any steps should have been taken by 
the bishop before the trial." 

" The bishop has been placed in a very delicate position," said 
Mr. Thumble, pleading for his patron. 

" I don't know the meaning of the word ' delicate,' " said Robarts. 
" I think his duty was veiy clear, to avoid interference whilst the matter 
is, so to say, before the judge." 

" Nobody has anything else to propose ? " said Dr. Tempest. " Then 
I will write to Mr. Crawley, and you, gentlemen, will perhaps do me the 
honour of meeting me here at one o'clock on this day week." Then 
the meeting was over, and the four clergymen having shaken hands 
with Dr. Tempest in the hall, all promised that they would return on 
that day week. So far, Dr. Tempest had earned his point exactly as he 
might have done had the four gentlemen been represented by the chairs 
on which they had sat. 

" I shan't come again, all the same, unless I know where I'm to get 
my expenses," said Mr. 'Quiverful, as he got into the gig. 

"I shall come," said Mr. Thumble, "because I think it a duty. 
Of course it is a hardship." Mr. Thumble liked the idea of being 
joined with such men as Dr. Tempest, and Mr. Oriel, and Mr. Robarts, 
and would any day have paid the expense of a gig from Barchester to 
Silverbridge out of his own pocket, for the sake of sitting with such 
benchfellows on any clerical inquiry. 



THE CLERICAL COMMISSION. 113 

" One's first duty is to one's own wife and family," said Mr. Quiverful. 

" Well, yes ; in a way, of course, that is quite true, Mr. Quiverful ; 
and when we know how very inadequate are the incomes of the working 
clergy, we cannot but feel ourselves to be, if I may so say, put upon, 
when we have to defray the expenses incidental to special duties out of 
our own pockets. I think, you know, I don't mind saying this to you, 
that the palace should have provided us with a chaise and pair." 
This was ungrateful on the part of Mr. Thumble, who had been per- 
mitted to ride miles upon miles to various outlying clerical duties upon 
the bishop's worn-out cob. " You see," continued Mr. Thumble, " you 
and I go specially to represent the palace, and the palace ought to 
remember that. I think there ought to have been a chaise and pair ; I 
do indeed." 

"I don't care much what the conveyance is," said Mr. Quiverful; 
" but I certainly shall pay nothing more out of my own pocket ; certainly 
I shall not." 

" The result will be that the palace will be thrown over if they don't 
take care," said Mr. Thumble. " Tempest, however, seems to bo 
pretty steady. Tempest, I think, is steady. You see he is getting tired 
of parish work, and would like to go into the close. That's what he is 
looking out for. Did you ever see such a fellow as that Robarts, just 
look at him ; quite indecent, wasn't he ? He thinks he can have his own 
way in everything, just because his sister married a lord. I do hate to 
see all that meanness." 

Mark Robarts and Caleb Oriel left Silverbridge in another gig by the 
same road, and soon passed their brethren, as Mr. Robarts was in the 
habit of driving a large, quick- stepping horse. The last remarks were 
being made as the dust from the vicar of Framley's wheels saluted the 
faces of the two slower clergymen. Mr. Oriel had promised to dine and 
sleep at Framley, and therefore returned in Mr. Robarts' gig. 

" Quite unnecessary, all this fuss ; don't you think so ? " said 
Mr. Robarts. 

"I am not quite sure," said Mr. Oriel. "I can understand that 
the bishop may have found a difficulty." 

" The bishop, indeed ! The bishop doesn't care two straws about 
it. It's Mrs. Proudie ! She has put her finger on the poor man's neck 
because he has not put his neck beneath her feet ; and now she thinks 
she can crush him, as she would crush you or me, i e it were in her 
power. That's about the long and the short of the bishop's solicitude." 

" You are very hard on him," said Mr. Oriel. 

" I know him ; and am not at all hard on him. She is hard upon 
II. xxi. u u 



114 . THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

him if you like. Tempest is fair. He is very fair, and as long as no 
one meddles with him he won't do amiss. I can't hold my tongue 
always, but I often know that it is better that I should." 

Dr. Tempest said not a word to any one on the subject, not even 
in his own defence. And yet he was sorely tempted. On the very day 
of the meeting he dined at Mr. Walker's in Silverbridge, and there 
submitted to be talked at by all the ladies and most of the gentlemen 
present, without saying a word in his own defence. And yet a word or 
two would have been so easy and so conclusive. 

" Oh, Dr. Tempest," said Maiy Walker, "I am so sorry that you 
have joined the bishop." 

"Are you, my dear?" said he. "It is generally thought well 
that a parish clergyman should agree with his bishop." 

"But you know, Dr. Tempest, that you don't agree with your 
bishop generally." 

" Then it is the more fortunate that I shall be able to agree with 
him on this occasion." 

Major Grantly was present at the dinner, and ventured to ask the 
doctor in the course of the evening what he thought would be done. 
"I should not venture to ask such a question, Dr. Tempest," he said, 
" unless I had the strongest possible reason to justify my anxiety." 

" I don't know that I can tell you anything, Major Grantly," said 
the doctor. " We did not even see Mr. Crawley to-day. But the 
real truth is that he must stand or fall as the jury shall find him guilty 
or not guilty. It would be the same in any profession. Could a 
captain in the army hold up his head in his regiment after he had been 
tried and found guilty of stealing twenty pounds ? " 

" I don't think he could," said the major. 

"Neither can a clergyman," said the doctor. "The bishop can 
neither make him nor mar him. It is the jury that must do it." 



CHAPTER LV. 

FRAMLEY PARSONAGE. 

AT tliis time Grace Crawley was at Framley Parsonage. Old Lady 
Lufton's strategy had been quite intelligible, but some people said that 
in point of etiquette and judgment and moral conduct, it was indefen- 
sible. Her vicar, Mr. Robarts, had been selected to be dne of the 
clergymen who was to sit in ecclesiastical judgment upon Mr. Crawley, 
and while he was so sitting Mr. .Crawley 's daughter was staying in 
Mr. Robarts' house as a visitor with his wife ! It might be that there 
was no harm in this. Lady Lufton, when the apparent impropriety was 
pointed out to her by no less a person than Archdeacon Grantly, ridi- 
culed the idea. "My dear archdeacon," Lady Lufton had said, " we 
all know the bishop to be such a fool and the bishop's wife to be such 
a knave, that we cannot allow ourselves to be governed in this matter 
by ordinary rales. Do you not think that it is expedient to show how 
utterly we disregard his judgment and her malice ? " The archdeacon 
had hesitated much before he spoke to Lady Lufton, whether he should 
address himself to her or to Mr. Robarts, or indeed to Mrs. Robarts. 
But he had become aware that the proposition as to the visit had 
originated with Lady Lufton, and he had therefore decided on speaking 
to her. He had not condescended to say a word as to his son, nor 
would he so condescend. Nor could he go from Lady Lufton to 
Mr. Robarts, having once failed with her ladyship. Indeed, in giving 
him his due, we must acknowledge that his disapprobation of Lady 
Lufton's strategy arose rather from his true conviction as to its impro- 
priety, than from any fear lest this attention paid to Miss Crawley 
should tend to bring about her marriage with his son. By this time he 
hated the very name of Crawley. He hated it the more because in 
hating it he had to put himself for the time on the same side with 
Mrs. Proudie. But for all that he would not condescend to any 
unworthy mode of fighting. He thought it wrong that the young lady 
should be invited to Framley Parsonage at this moment, and he said so 
to the person who had, as he thought, in truth, given the imitation ; but 
he would not allow his own personal motives to induce him to carry oa 
the argument with Lady Lufton. "The bishop is a fool," he said, 
" and tho bishop's wife is a knave. Nevertheless I would not have had 



116 THE LAST CHEONICLE OP BAESET. 

the young lady over to Frainley at this moment. If, however, you 
think it right and Robarts thinks it right, there is an end of it." 

" Upon my word we do," said Lady Lufton. 

I am induced to think that Mr. Robarts was not quite confident of 
the expediency of what he was doing by the way in which he mentioned 
to Mr. Oriel the fact of Miss Crawley's presence at the parsonage as 
he drove that gentleman home in his gig. They had been talking about 
Mr. Crawley when he suddenly turned himself round, so that he could 
look at his companion, and said, " Miss Crawley is staying with us at the 
parsonage at the present moment." 

" What ! Mr. Crawley's daughter ? " said Mr. Oriel, showing plainly 
by his voice that the tidings had much surprised him. 

" Yes ; Mr. Crawley's daughter." 

" Oh, indeed. I did not know that you were on those terms with 
the family." 

"We have known them for the last seven or eight years," said 
Mark ; " and though I should be giving you a false notion if I were to 
say that I myself have known them intimately, for Crawley is a man 
whom it is quite impossible to know intimately, yet the womankind at 
Framley have known them. My sister stayed with them over at 
Hogglestock for some time." 

" What ; Lady Lufton ? " 

"Yes; my sister Lucy. It was just before her marriage. There 
was a lot of trouble, and the Crawleys were ah 1 ill, and she went to 
nurse them. And then the old lady took them up, and altogether 
there came to be a sort of feeling that they were to be regarded as 
friends. They are always in trouble, and now in this special trouble 
the women between them have thought it best to have the girl over at 
Framley. Of course I had a kind of feeling about this commission ; but 
as I knew that it would make no difference with me I did not think 
it necessary to put my veto upon the visit." Mr. Oriel said nothing 
further, but Mark Robarts was aware that Mr. Oriel did not quite 
approve of the visit. 

That morning old Lady Lufton herself had come across to the par- 
sonage with the express view of bidding all the parsonage party to come 
across to the hall to dine. "You can tell Mr. Oriel, Fanny, with 
Lucy's compliments, how delighted she will be to see him." Old Lady 
Lufton always spoke of her daughter-in-law as the mistress of the 
house. " If you think he is particular, you know, we will send a note 
across." Mrs. Robarts said that she supposed Mr. Oriel would not be 
particular, but, looking at Grace, made some faint excuse. " You must 



FKAMLEY PAKSONAGfi. 117 

coine, my dear," said Lady Lufton. " Lucy wishes it particularly." 
Mrs. Robarts did not know how to say that she would not come ; and 
so the matter stood, when Mrs. Robarts was called upon to leave the 
room for a moment, and Lady Lufton and Grace were left alone. 

"Dear Lady Lufton," said Grace, getting up suddenly from her 
chair ; ' ' will you do me a favour, a great favour ? ' ' She spoke with 
an energy which quite surprised the old lady, and caused her almost to 
start from her seat. 

" I don't like making promises," said Lady Lufton ; " but anything 
I can do with propriety I will." 

" You can do this. Pray let me stay here to-day. You don't 
understand how I feel about going out while papa is in this way. I 
know how kind and how good you all are ; and when dear Mrs. Robarts 
asked me here, and mamma said that I had better come, I could not 
refuse. But indeed, indeed, I had rather not go out to a dinner- 
party." 

"It is not a party, my dear girl," said Lady Lufton, with the 
kindest voice which she knew how to assume. "And you must 
remember that my daughter-in-law regards you as so very old a friend ! 
You remember, of course, when she was staying over at Hogglestock ? " 

" Indeed I do. I remember it well." 

" And therefore you should not regard it as going out. There will 
be nobody there but ourselves and the people from this house." 

" But it will be going out, Lady Lufton ; and I do hope you will let 
me stay here. You cannot think how I feel it. Of course I cannot go 

without something like dressing, and and and In poor papa's 

state I feel that I ought no$ to do anything that looks like gaiety. I 
ought never to forget it ; not for a moment." 

There was a tear in Lady Lufton's eye as she said, " My dear, you 
shan't come. You and Fanny shall stop and dine here by yourselves. 
The gentlemen shall come." 

" Do let Mrs. Robarts go, please," said Grace. 

" I won't do anything of the kind," said Lady Lufton. Then, when 
Mrs. Robarts returned to the room, her ladyship explained it all in two 
words. " Whilst you have been away, my dear, Grace has begged off, 
and therefore we have decided that Mr. Oriel and Mr. Robarts shall 
come without you." 

" I am so sorry, Mrs. Robarts," said Grace. 

"Pooh, pooh," said Lady Lufton. "Fanny and I have known 
each other quite long enough not to stand on any compliments, 
haven't we, my dear ? I must get home now, as all the morning has 



118 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 

gone by. Fanny ray dear, I want to speak to you," Then she 
expressed her opinion of Grace Crawley as she walked across the 
parsonage garden with Mrs. Robarts. " She is a very nice girl, and a 
very good girl, I ani sure ; and she shows excellent feeling. Whatever 
happens we must take care of her. And, Fanny, have you observed 
how handsome she is ?" 

" We think her very pretty." 

" She is more than pretty when she has a little fire in her eyes. 
She is downright handsome, or will be when she fills out a little. I 
tell you what, my dear ; she'll make havoc with somebody yet ; you see 
if she doesn't. By by. Tell the two gentlemen to be up by seven 
punctually." And then Lady Lufton went home. 

Grace so contrived that Mr. Oriel came and went without seeing 
her. There was a separate nursery breakfast at the parsonage, and by 
special permission Grace was allowed to have her tea and bread-and- 
butter on the next morning with the children. " I thought you told me 
Miss Crawley was here," said Mr. Oriel, as the two clergymen stood 
waiting for the gig that was to take the visitor away to Barchester. 

" So she is," said Bobarts ; " but she likes to hide herself, because 
of her father's trouble. You can't blame her." 

" No, indeed," said Mr. Oriel. 

" Poor girl. If you knew her you would not only pity her, but 
like her." 

" Is she, what you call ? " 

" You mean, is she a lady ? " 

" Of course she is by birth, and all that," said Mr. Oriel, apolo- 
gizing for his inquiry. 

" I don't think there is another girl in the county so well educated," 
said Mr. Eobarts. 

" Indeed ! I had no idea of that." 

" And we think her a great beauty. As for manners, I never saw 
a girl with a prettier way of her own." 

"Dear me," said Mr. Oriel. "I wish she had come down to 
breakfast." 

It will have been perceived that old Lady Lufton had heard nothing 
of Major Grantly's offence ; that she had no knowledge that Grace had 
already made havoc, as she had called it, had, in truth, made very 
sad havoc, at Plumstead. She did not, therefore, think much about it 
when her son told her upon her return home from the parsonage on 
that afternoon that Major Grantly had come over from Cosby Lodge, 
and that he was going to dine and sleep at Framley Court. Some 



FRAMLEY PARSONAGE. 119 

slight idea of thankfulness came across her mind that she had not 
betrayed Grace Crawley into a meeting with a stranger. " I asked him 
to come some day before we went up to town," said his lordship ; 
" and I am glad he has come to-day, as two clergymen to one's self are, 
at any rate, one too many." So Major Grantly dined and slept at the 
Court. 

But Mrs. Eobarts was in a great flurry when she was told of this 
by her husband on his return from the dinner. Mrs. Crawley had 
found an opportunity of telling the story of Major Grantly 's love to 
Mrs. Kobarts before she had sent her daughter to Framley, knowing 
that the families were intimate, and thinking it right that there should 
be some precaution. 

" I wonder whether he will come up here," Mrs. Eobarts had said. 

"Probably not," said the vicar. "He said he was going home 
early." 

"I hope he will not come for Grace's sake," said Mrs. Robarts. 
She hesitated whether she should tell her husband. She always did 
tell him everything. But on this occasion she thought she had no right 
to do so, and she kept the secret. " Don't do anything to bring him 
up, dear." 

" You needn't be afraid. He won't come," said the vicar. On the 
following morning, as soon as Mr. Oriel was gone, Mr. Robarts went 
out, about his parish he would probably have called it ; but in half 
an hour he might have been seen strolling about the Court stable-yard 
with Lord Lufton. " Where is Grantly ? " asked the vicar. " I don't 
know where he is," said his lordship. "He has sloped off some- 
where." The major had sloped off to the parsonage, well knowing in 
what nest his dove was lying hid ; and he and the vicar had passed 
each other. The major had gone out at the front gate, and the vicar 
had gone in at the stable entrance. 

The two clergymen had hardly taken their departure when Major 
Grantly knocked at the parsonage door. He had come so early that 
Mrs. Robarts had taken no precautions, even had there been any 
precautions which she would have thought it right to take. Grace was 
in the act of coming down the stairs, not having heard the knock at the 
door, and thus she found her lover in the hall. He had asked, of 
course, for Mrs. Robarts, and thus they two entered the drawing-room 
together. They had not had time to speak when the servant opened 
the drawing-room door to announce the visitor. There had been no 
word spoken between Mrs. Robarts and Grace about Major Grantly, but 
tho mother had told the daughter of what she had said to Mrs. Robarts. 



120 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Grace," said the major, " I am so glad to find you ! " Then he 
turned to Mrs. Bobarts with his open hand. "You won't take it 
uncivil of me if I say that my visit is not entirely to yourself ? I think 
I may take upon myself to say that I and Miss Crawley are old friends. 
May I not?" 

Grace could not answer a word. "Mrs. Crawley told me that you 
had known her at Silverbridge," said Mrs. Koberts, driven to say some- 
thing, but feeling that she was blundering. 

"I came over to Framley yesterday because I heard that she was 
here. Am I wrong to come up here to see her ? " 

"I think she must answer that for herself, Major Grantly." 

"Am I wrong, Grace?" Grace thought that he was the finest 
gentleman and the noblest lover that had ever shown his devotion to a 
woman, and was stirred by a mighty resolve that if it ever should be in 
her power to reward him after any fashion, she would pour out the reward 
with a very full hand indeed. But what was she to say on the present 
moment? "Am I wrong, Grace?" he said, repeating his question 
with so much emphasis, that she was positively driven to answer it. 

" I do not think you are wrong at all. How can I say you are wrong 
when you are so good ? If I could be your servant I would serve you. 
But I can be nothing to you, because of papa's disgrace. Dear 
Mrs. Bobarts, I cannot stay. You must answer him for me." And 
having thus made her speech she escaped from the room. 

It may suffice to say further now that the major did not see Grace 
again during that visit at Frarnley. 




; BECAUSE OF PAPA'S DISGRACE.' 



CHAPTER LVI. 
THE ARCHDEACON GOES TO FEAHLEY. 

Y some of those unseen tele- 
graphic wires which carry news 
about the country and make 
no charge for the conveyance, 
Archdeacon Grantly heard 
that his son the major was at 
Framley. Now in that itself 
there would have been nothing 
singular. There had been for 
years much intimacy between 
the Lufton family and the 
Grantly family, so much 
that an alliance between the 
two houses had once been 
planned, the elders having 
considered it expedient that 
the young lord should marry 
that Griselda who had since 
mounted higher in the world even than the elders had then projected 
for her. There had come no such alliance ; but the intimacy had not 
ceased, and there was nothing in itself surprising in the fact that Major 
Grantly should be staying at Framley Court. But the archdeacon, 
when he heard the news, bethought him at once of Grace Crawley. 
Could it be possible that his old friend Lady Lufton, Lady Lufton 
whom he had known and trusted all his life, whom he had ever 
regarded as a pillar of the church in Barsetshire, should now be untrue 
to him in a 'matter so closely affecting his interests ? Men when they 
are worried by fears and teased by adverse circumstances become sus- 
picious of those on whom suspicion should never rest. It was hardly 
possible, the archdeacon thought, that Lady Lufton should treat him 
so unworthily, but the circumstances were strong against his friend. 
Lady Lufton had induced Miss Crawley to go to Framley, much against 
his advice, at a time when such a visit seemed to him to be very 
improper ; and it now appeared that his son was to be there at the 

II. XXII. X X 




122 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

same time, a fact of which Lady Lufton had made no mention to him 
whatever. Why had not Lady Lufton told him that Henry Grantly 
was coming to Framley Court ? The reader, whose interest in the 
matter will be less keen than was the archdeacon's, will know very well 
why Lady Luffcon had said nothing about the major's visit. The 
reader will remember that Lady Lufton, when she saw the archdeacon, 
was as ignorant as to the intended visit as was the archdeacon himself. 
But the archdeacon was uneasy, troubled, and suspicious ; and he 
suspected his old friend unworthily. 

He spoke to his wife about it within a very few hours of the 
arrival of the tidings by those invisible wires. He had already told 
her that Miss Crawley was to go to Framley parsonage, and that he 
thought that Mrs. Kobarts was wrong to receive her at such a time. 
" It is only intended for good-nature," Mrs. Grantly had said. "It is 
misplaced good-nature at the present moment," the archdeacon had 
replied. Mrs. Grantly had not thought' it worth her while to under- 
take at the moment any strong defence of the Framley people. She 
knew well how odious was the name of Crawley in her husband's ears, 
and she felt that the less that was said at present ajbout the Crawloys 
the better for the peace of the rectory at Plumstead. She had there- 
fore allowed the expression of his disapproval to pass unchallenged. 
But now he came upon her with a more bitter grievance, and she was 
obliged to argue the matter with him. 

" What do you think ? " said he ; "Henry is at Framley." 
"He can hardly be staying there," said Mrs. Grantly, "because I 
know that he is so very busy at home." The business at home of which 
the major's mother was speaking was his projected moving from Cosby 
Lodge, a subject which was also very odious to the archdeacon. He 
did not wish his son to move from Cosby Lodge. He could not endure 
the idea that his son should be known throughout the county to be 
giving up a" residence because he could not afford to keep it. The 
archdeacon could have afforded to keep up two Cosby Lodges for his son, 
and would have been well pleased to do so, if only his son would not 
misbehave against him so shamefully ! He could not bear that his 
son should be punished, openly, before the eyes of all Barsetshire. 
Indeed he did not wish that his son should be punished at all. He 
simply desired that his son should recognize his father's power to 
inflict punishment. It would be henbane to Archdeacon Grantly to 
have a poor son, a son living at Pau, among Frenchmen !- -because 
he could not afford to live in England. Why had the archdeacon 
been careful of his money, adding house to house and field to field ? 



THE ARCHDEACON GOES TO FRAMLEY. 123 

He himself was contented, so lie told himself, to die as he had lived 
in a country parsonage, working with the collar round his neck up 
to the day of his death, if God would allow him so to do. He was 
ambitious of no grandeur for himself. So he would tell himself, being 
partly oblivious of certain episodes in his own life. All his wealth 
had been got together for his children. He desired that his sons 
should be fitting brothers for their august sister. And now the son 
who was nearest to him, whom he was bent upon making a squire in 
his own county, wanted to marry the daughter of a man who had 
stolen twenty pounds, and when objection was made to so discreditable 
a connexion, replied by packing up all his things and saying that he 
would go and live at Pau ! The archdeacon therefore did not like to 
hear of his son being very busy at home. 

" I don't know whether he's busy or not," said the archdeacon, 
" but I toll you he is staying at Framley." 

" From whom have you heard it ? " 

" What matter does that make if it is so ? I heard it from 
Flurry." 

" Flurry may have been mistaken," said Mrs. Grantly. 

"It is not at all likely. Those people always know about such 
things. He heard it from the Framley keeper. I don't doubt but it's 
true, and I think that it's a great shame." 

" A great shame that Henry should be at Framley ! He has been 
there two or three times every year since he has lived in the county." 

" It is a great shame that he should be had over there just at the 
time when that girl is there also. It is impossible to believe that such 
a thing is an accident." 

" But, archdeacon, you do not mean to say that you think that 
Lady Lufton has arranged it ? " 

" I don't know who has arranged it. Somebody has arranged it. 
If it is Robarts, that is almost worse. One could forgive a woman in 
such a matter better than one could a man." 

u Psha!" Mrs. Grantly's temper was never bitter, but at this 
moment it was not sweetened by her husband's very uncivil reference 
to her sex. " The whole idea is nonsense, and you should get it out 
of your head." 

" Am I to get it out of my head that Henry wants to make this girl 
his wife, and that the two are at this moment at Framley together? " 
In this the archdeacon was wrong as to his facts. Major Grantly had 
left Framley on the previous day, having stayed there only one night. 
" It is coming to that that one can trust no one no one literally no 

x x 2 



124 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

one." Mrs, Grantly perfectly understood that the archdeacon, in 
the agony of the moment, intended to exclude even herself from his 
confidence by that "no one; " but to this she was indifferent, under- 
standing accurately when his words should be accepted as expressing his 
thoughts, and when they should be supposed to express only his anger. 

" The probability is that no one at Lufton knew anything about 
Henry's partiality for Miss Crawley," said Mrs. Grantly. 

" I tell you I think they are both at Framley together ? " 

" And I tell you that if they are, which I doubt, they are there 
simply by an accident. Besides, what does it matter ? If they choose 
to many each other, you and I cannot prevent them. They don't 
want any assistance from Lady Lufton, or anybody else. They have 
simply got to make up their own minds, and then no one can hinder 
them." 

" And, therefore, you would like to see them brought together ? " 

" I say nothing about that, archdeacon ; but I do say that we must 
take these things as they come. What can we do ? Henry may go and 
stay with Lady Lufton if he pleases. You and I cannot prevent him." 

After this the archdeacon walked away, and would not argue the 
matter any farther with his wife at that moment. He knew very well 
that he could not get the better of her, and was apt at such moments 
to think that she took an unfair advantage of him by keeping her 
temper. But he could not get out of his head the idea that perhaps on 
this veiy day things were being arranged between his son and Grace 
Crawley at Framley ; and he resolved that he himself would go over 
and see what might be done. He would, at any rate, tell all his 
trouble to Lady Lufton, and beg his old friend to assist him. He could 
not think that such a one as he had always known Lady Lufton to be 
would approve of a marriage between Henry Grantly and Grace 
Crawley. At any rate, he would learn the truth. He had once been 
told that Grace Crawley had herself refused to marry his son, feeling 
that she would do wrong to inflict so great an injury upon any gentle- 
man. He had not believed in so great a virtue. He could not believe 
in it now, now, when he heard that Miss Crawley and his son were 
staying together in the same parish. Somebody must be doing him an 
injury. It could hardly be chance. But his presence at Framley 
might even yet have a good effect, and he would at least learn the 
truth. So he had himself driven to Barchester, and from Barchester 
he took post-horses to Framley. 

As he came near to the village, he grew to be somewhat ashamed of 
himself, or, at least, nervous as to the mode in which he would proceed, 



THE ARCHDEACON GOES TO FKAMLEY. 

The driver, turning round to him, had suggested that he supposed 
he was to drive to "My lady's." This injustice to Lord Lufton, to 
whom the house belonged, and with whom his mother lived as a guest, 
was very common in the county ; for old Lady Lufton had lived at 
Framley Court through her son's long minority, and had kept the 
house there till his marriage ; and even since his marriage she had been 
recognized as its presiding genius. It certainly was not the fault of 
old Lady Lufton, as she always spoke of everything as belonging either 
to her son or to her daughter-in-law. The archdeacon had been in 
doubt whether he would go to the Court or to the parsonage. Could 
he have done exactly as he wished, he would have left the chaise and 
walked to the parsonage, so as to reach it without the noise and fuss 
incidental to a postilion's arrival. But that was impossible. He could 
not drop into Framley as though he had come from the clouds, and, 
therefore, he told the man to do as he had suggested. " To my lady's ? " 
said the postilion. The archdeacon assented, and the man, with loud 
cracks of his whip, and with a spasmodic gallop along the short avenue, 
took the archdeacon up to the door of Lord Lufton's house. He asked 
for Lord Lufton first, putting on his pleasantest smile, so that the 
servant should not suspect the purpose, of which he was somewhat 
ashamed. Was Lord Lufton at home ? Lord Lufton was not at home. 
Lord Lufton had gone up to London that morning, intending to return 
the day after to-morrow ; but both my ladies were at home. So the 
archdeacon was shown into the room where both my ladies were sitting, 
and with them he found Mrs. Robarts. Any one who had become 
acquainted with the habits of the Frainley ladies would have known that 
this might very probably be the case. The archdeacon himself was as 
well aware as any one of the modes of life at Framley. The lord's wife 
was the parson's sister, and the parson's wife had from her infancy been 
the petted friend of the old lady. Of course they all lived very much 
together. Of course Mrs. Robarts was as much at home in the drawing- 
room of Framley Court as she was in her own drawing-room at the 
parsonage. Nevertheless, the archdeacon thought himself to be hardly 
used when he found that Mrs. Robarts was at the house. 

" My dear archdeacon, who ever expected to see you?" said old 
Lady Lufton. Then the two younger women greeted him. And they 
all smiled on him pleasantly, and seemed overjoyed to see him. He 
was, in truth, a great favourite at Framley, and each of the three was 
glad to welcome him. They believed in the archdeacon at Framley, 
and felt for him that sort of love which ladies in the countiy do feel 
for their elderly male friends. There was not one of the three who 



126 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

would not have taken much trouble to get anything for the archdeacon 
which they had thought the archdeacon would like. Even old Lady 
Lufton remembered what was his favourite soup, and always took care 
that he should have it when he dined at the Court. Young Lady 
Lufton would bring his tea to him as he sat in his chair. He was 
petted in the house, was allowed to poke the fire if he pleased, and 
called the servants by their names as though he were at home. He 
was compelled, therefore, to smile and to seem pleased ; and it was not 
till after he had eaten his lunch, and had declared that he must return 
home to dinner, that the dowager gave him an opportunity of having 
the private conversation which he desired. 

" Can I have a few minutes' talk with you ? " he said to her, whis- 
pering into her ear as they left the drawing-room together. So she led 
the way into her own sitting-room, telling him, as she asked him to 
be seated, that she had supposed that something special must have 
brought him over to Framley. " I should have asked you to come up 
here, even if you had not spoken," she said. 

" Then perhaps you know what has brought me over?" said the 
archdeacon. 

" Not in the least," said Lady Lufton. " I have not an idea. But 
I did not flatter myself that you would como so far on a morning call, 
merely to see us three ladies. I hope you did not want to see Ludovic, 
because he will not be back till to-morrow ? " 

" I wanted to see you, Lady Lufton." 

" That is lucky, as here I am. You may be pretty sure to find me 
here any day in the year." 

After this there was a little pause. The archdeacon hardly knew 
how to begin his story. In the first place he was in doubt whether 
Lady Lufton had ever heard of the preposterous match which his son 
had proposed to himself to make. In his anger at Plumstead he had 
felt sure that she knew all about it, and that she was assisting his son. 
But this belief had dwindled as his anger had dwindled ; and as the 
chaise had entered the parish of Framley he had told himself that it was 
quite impossible that she should know anything about it. Her manner 
had certainly been altogether in her favour since he had been in her 
house. There had been nothing of the consciousness of guilt in her 
demeanour. But, nevertheless, there was the coincidence ! How had it 
come to pass that Grace Crawley and his son should be at Framley 
together ? It might, indeed, be just possible that Flurry might have 
been wrong, and that his son had not been there at all. 

" I suppose Miss Crawley is at the parsonage ? " he said at last. 



THE ARCHDEACON GOES TO FRAMLEY. 127 

" Oh, yes; she is still there, and will remain there I should think 
for the next ten days." 

" Oh ; I did not know," said the archdeacon very coldly. 

It seemed to Lady Luffcon, who was as innocent as an unborn babe 
in the matter of the projected marriage, that her old friend the arch- 
deacon was in a mind to persecute the Crawleys. He had on a former 
occasion taken upon himself to advise that Grace Crawley should not be 
entertained at Framley, and now it seemed that he had come all the 
way from Piurnstead to say something further in the same strain. Lady 
Lufton, if he had anything further to say of that kind, would listen to 
him as a matter of course. She would listen to him and reply to him 
without temper. But she did not approve of it. She told herself 
silently that she could not approve of persecution or of interference. 
She therefore drew herself up, and pursed her mouth, and put on some- 
thing of that look of severity which she could assume very visibly, if it 
so pleased her. 

" Yes ; she is still there, and I think that her visit will do her a 
great deal of good," said Lady Lufton. 

" When we talk of doing good to people," said the archdeacon, " we 
often make terrible mistakes. It so often happens that we don't know 
when we are doing good and when we are doing harm." 

" That is true, of course, Dr. Grantly, and must be so necessarily, 
as our wisdom here below is so very limited. But I should think, 
as far as I can see, that is, that the kindness which my friend 
Mrs. Robarts is showing to this young lady must be beneficial. You 
know, archdeacon, I explained to you before that I could not quite 
agree with you in what you said as to leaving these people alone till after 
the trial. I thought that help was necessary to them at once." 

The archdeacon sighed deeply. He ought to have been somewhat 
renovated in spirit by the tone in which Lady Lufton spoke to him, as 
it conveyed to him almost an absolute conviction that his first suspicion 
was incorrect. But any comfort which might have come to him from 
this source was marred by the feeling that he must announce his own 
disgrace. At any rate he must do so, unless he were contented to go 
back to Plumstead without having learned anything by his journey. 
He changed the tone of his voice, however, and asked a question, as 
it might be altogether on a different subject. "I heard yesterday," he 
said, " that Henry was over here." 

" He was here yesterday. He came the evening before, and dined 
and slept here, and went home yesterday morning." 

" Was Miss Crawley with you that evening ?" 



128 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAKSET. 

"Miss Crawl ey? No; she would not come. She thinks it best 
not to go out while her father is in his present unfortunate position ; and 
she is right." 

"She is quite right in that," said the archdeacon; and then he 
paused again. He thought that it would be best for him to make a 
clean breast of it, and to trust to Lady Lufton's sympathy. "Did 
Henry go up to the parsonage ? " he asked. 

But still Lady Lufton did not suspect the truth. " I think he did," 
she replied, with an air of surprise. " I think I heard that he went up 
there to call on Mrs. Robarts after breakfast." 

" No, Lady Lufton, he did not go up there to call on Mrs. Robarts. 
He went up there because he is making a fool of himself about that 
Miss Crawley. That is the truth. Now you understand it all. I hope 
that Mrs. Robarts does not know it. I do hope for her own sake that 
Mrs. Robarts does not know it." 

The archdeacon certainly had no longer any doubt as to Lady 
Lufton's innocence when he looked at her face as she heard these 
tidings. . She had predicted that Grace Crawley would " make havoc," 
and could not, therefore, be altogether surprised at the idea that some 
gentleman should have fallen in love with her ; but she had never sup- 
posed that the havoc might be made so early in her days, or on so great 
a quarry. " You don't mean to tell me that Henry Grantly is in love 
with Grace Crawley ? " she replied. 

" I mean to say that he says he is." 

" Dear, dear, dear ! I'm sure, archdeacon, that you will believe me 
when I say that I knew nothing about it." 

" I am quite sure of that," said the archdeacon dolefully. 

" Or I certainly should not have been glad to see him here. But 
the house, you know, is not mine, Dr. Grantly. I could have done 

nothing if I had known it. But only to think ; well, to be sure. 

She has not lost time, at any rate." 

Now this was not at all the light in which the archdeacon wished 
that the matter should be regarded. He had been desirous that Lady 
Lufton should be horror-stricken by the tidings, 'but it seemed to him 
that she regarded the iniquity almost as a good joke. "What did it 
matter how young or how old the girl might be ? She came of poor 
people, of people who had no friends, of disgraced people ; and Lady 
Lufton ought to feel that such a marriage would be a terrible mis- 
fortune and a terrible crime. " I need hardly tell you, Lady Lufton," 
said the archdeacon, " that I shall set my face against it as far as it is 
in my power to do so." 



THE AECHDEACON GOES TO FRAHLEY. 129 

" If they both be resolved I suppose you can hardly prevent it." 

"Of course I cannot prevent it. Of course I cannot prevent it. 
If he will break my heart and his mother's, and his sister's, of 
course I cannot prevent it. If he will ruin himself, he must have his 
own way." 

" Kuin himself, Dr. Grantly ! " 

11 They will have enough to live upon, somewhere in Spain or 
France." The scorn expressed in the archdeacon's voice as he spoke of 
Pau as being " somewhere in Spain or France," should have been heard 
to be understood. " No doubt they Avill have enough to live upon." 

" Do you mean to say that it will make a difference as to your own 
property, Dr. Grantly ? " 

' ' Certainly it will, Lady Lufton. I told Henry when I first heard of 
the thing, before he had definitely made any offer to the girl, that 
I should withdraw from him altogether the allowance that I now make 
him, if he married her. And I told him also, that if he persisted in his 
folly I should think it my duty to alter my will." 

"I am sorry for that, Dr. Grantly." 

"Sorry! And am not I sorry? Sorrow is no sufficient word. 
I am broken-hearted. Lady Lufton, it is killing me. It is indeed. 
I love him ; I love him ; I love him as you have loved your son. 
But what is the use ? What can he be to me when he shall have 
married the daughter of such a man as that ? " 

Lady Lufton sat for a while silent, thinking of a certain episode in 
her own life. There had been a time when her son was desirous of 
making a marriage which she had thought would break her heart. She 
had for a time moved heaven and earth, as far as she knew how to 
move them, to prevent the marriage. But at last she had yielded, 
not from lack of power, for the circumstances had been such that at the 
moment of yielding she had still the power in her hand of staying the 
marriage, but she had yielded because she had perceived that her son 
was in earnest. She had yielded, and had kissed the dust ; but from 
the moment in which her lips had so touched the ground, she had 
taken great joy in the new daughter whom her son had brought into 
the house. Since that she had learned to think that young people 
might perhaps be right, and that old people might perhaps be wrong. 
This trouble of her friend the archdeacon's was veiy like her own old 
trouble. " And he is engaged to her now?" she said, when those 
thoughts had passed through her mind. 

tt Yes ; that is, no. I am not sure. I do not know how to make 
myself sure." 



180 THE LAST CIIIldSiCLE OF BARSET. 

" I am sure Major Grantly will tell you all the truth as it exists." 
"Yes; he'll tell me the truth, as far as he knows it. I do not 
see that there is much anxiety to spare me in the matter. He is 
desirous rather of making me understand that I have no power of saving 
him from his own folly. Of course I have no power of saving him." 
" But is he engaged to her ? " 

" He says that she has refused him. But of course that means 
nothing." 

Again the archdeacon's position was very like Lady Lufton's position, 
as it had existed before her son's marriage. In that case also the young 
lady, who was now Lady Lufton's own daughter and dearest friend, 
had refused the lover who proposed to her, although the marriage was 
so much to her advantage, loving him, too, the while, with her whole 
heart, as it was natural to suppose that Grace Crawley might so love 
her lover. The more she thought of the similarity of the stories, the 
stronger were her sympathies on the side of poor Grace. Nevertheless, 
she would comfort her old friend if she knew how ; and of course she 
could not but admit to herself that the match was one which must be a 
ca^se of real sorrow to him. "I don't know why her refusal should 
mean nothing," said Lady Lufton. 

" Of course a girl refuses at first, a girl, I mean, in such circum- 
stances as hers. She can't but feel that more is offered to her than she 
ought to take, and that she is bound to go through the ceremony of 
declining. But my anger is not with her, Lady Lufton." 

" I do not see how it can be." 

"No; it is not with her. If she becomes his wife I trust that 
I may never see her." 

"Oh, Dr. Grantly!" 

"I do; I do. How can it be otherwise with me? But I shall 
have no quarrel with her. "With him I must quarrel." 

" I do not see why," said Lady Lufton. 

" You do not ? Does he not set me at defiance ? " 

" At his age surely a son has a right to marry as he pleases." 

"If he took her out of the streets, then it w r ould be the same ? " 
said the archdeacon with bitter anger. 

tt No j for such a one would herself be bad." 

" Or if she were the daughter of a huxter out of the city ? " 

" No again ; for in that case her want of education would probably 
unfit her for your society." 

"Her father's disgrace, then, should be a matter of indifference to 
me, Lady Lufton?" 



THE ARCHDEACON GOES TO FRAMLEY. 131 

"I did not say so. In the first place, her father is not disgraced, 
not as yet ; and we do not know whether he 'may ever be disgraced. 
You will hardly be disposed to say that persecution from the palace 
disgraces a clergyman in Barsetshire." 

"All the same, I believe that the man was guilty," said the arch- 
deacon. 

"Wait and see, my friend, before you condemn him altogether. 
But, be that as it may, I acknowledge that the marriage is one which 
must naturally be distasteful to you." 

" Oh, Lady Lufton ! if you only knew ! If you only knew ! " 

" I do know ; and I feel for you. But I think that your son has a 
right to expect that you should not show the same repugnance to such 
a marriage as this as you would have had a right to show had he 
suggested to himself such a wife as those at which you just now hinted. 
Of course you can advise him, and make him understand your feelings ; 
but I cannot think you will be justified in quarrelling with him, or in 
changing your views towards him as regards money, seeing that Miss 
Crawley is an educated lady, who has done nothing to forfeit your 
respect." A heavy cloud came upon the archdeacon's brow as he 
heard these words, but he did not make any immediate answer. " Of 
course, my friend," continued Lady Lufton, "I should not have 
ventured to say so much to you, had you not come to me, as it were, 
for my opinion." 

"I came here because I thought Henry was here," said the ^ arch- 
deacon. 

" If I have said too much I beg your pardon." 

" No ; you have not said too much. It is not that. You and I 
are such old friends that either may say almost anything to the other." 

"Yes; just so. And therefore I have ventured to speak my 
mind," said Lady Lufton. 

"Of course; and I am obliged to you. But, Lady Lufton, you 
do not understand yet how this hits me. Everything in life that I 
have done, I have done for my children. I am wealthy, but I have 
not used my wealth for myself, because I have desired that they should 
be able to hold their heads high in the world. All my ambition has 
been for them, and all the pleasure which I have anticipated for myself 
in my old age is that which I have hoped to receive from their credit. 
As for Henry, he might have had anything he wanted from me in the 
way of money. He expressed a wish, a few months since, to go into 
Parliament, and I promised to help him as far as ever I could go. I 
have kept up the game altogether for him. He, the younger son of a 



132 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

working parish parson, has had everything that could be given to the 
eldest son of a country gentleman, more than is given to the eldest 
son of many a peer. I have hoped that he would marry again, but I 
have never cared that he should marry for money. I have been willing 
to do anything for him myself. But, Lady Lufton, a father does feel 
that he should have some return for all this. No one can imagine that 
Henry ever supposed that a bride from that wretched place at Hoggle- 
stock could be welcomed among us. He knew that he would break our 
hearts, and he did not care for it. That is what I feel. Of course he 
has the power to do as he likes ; and of course I have the power 
to do as I like also with what is my own." 

Lady Lufton was a very good woman, devoted to her duties, affec- 
tionate and just to those about her, truly religious, and charitable from 
her nature ; but I doubt whether the thorough worldliness of the arch- 
deacon's appeal struck her as it will strike the reader. People are so 
much more worldly in practice than they are in theory, so much 
keener after their own gratification in detail than they are in the 
abstract, that the narrative of many an adventure would shock us, 
though the same adventure would not shock us in the action. One girl 
tells another how she has changed her mind in love ; and the friend 
sympathizes with the friend, and perhaps applauds. Had the story 
been told in print, the friend who had listened with equanimity would 
have read of such vacillation with indignation. She who vacillated 
herself would have hated her own performance when brought before her 
judgment as a matter in which she had nb personal interest. Very 
fine things are written every day about honesty and truth, and men 
read them with a sort of external conviction that a man, if he be 
anything of a man at ah 1 , is of course honest and true. But when 
the internal convictions are brought out between two or three who are 
personally interested together, between two or three who feel that 
their little gathering is, so to say, " tiled," those internal convictions 
differ very much from the external convictions. This man, in his 
confidences, asserts broadly that he does not mean to be thrown over, 
and that man has a project for throwing over somebody else ; and the 
intention of each is that scruples are not to stand in the way of his 
success. The " Ruat co3lum, fiat justitia," was said, no doubt, from 
an outside balcony to a crowd, and the speaker knew that he was 
talking buncombe. The " Rem, si possis recte, si non, quocunque 
modo," was whispered into the ear in a club smoking-room, and the 
whisperer intended that his words should prevail. 

Lady Lufton had often heard her friend the archdeacon preach, and 






THE ABCHDEACON GOES TO FRAMLEY. 133 

she knew well the high tone which he could take as to the necessity of 
trusting to our hopes for the future for all our true happiness ; and 
yet she sympathized with him when he told her that he was broken- 
hearted because his son would take a step which might possibly interfere 
with his worldly prosperity. Had the archdeacon been preaching about 
matrimony, he would have recommended young men, in taking wives to 
themselves, especially to look for young women who feared the Lord. 
But in talking about his own son's wife, no word as to her eligibility or 
non- eligibility in this respect escaped his lips. Had he talked on the 
subject till nightfall no such word would have been spoken. Had any 
friend of his own, man or woman, in discussing such a matter with him 
and asking his advice upon it, alluded to the fear of the Lord, the 
allusion would have been distasteful to him and would have smacked 
to his palate of hypocrisy. Lady Lufton, who understood as well as 
any woman what it was to be " tiled " with a friend, took all this in 
good part. The archdeacon had spoken out of his heart what was in 
his heart. One of his children had married a marquis. Another might 
probably become a bishop, perhaps an archbishop. The third might 
be a county squire, high among county squires. But he could only so 
become by walking warily ; and now he was bent on marrying the 
penniless daughter of an impoverished half-mad country curate, who 
was about to be tried for stealing twenty pounds ! Lady Lufton, in 
spite of all her arguments, could not refuse her sympathy to her old 
friend. 

" After all, from what you say, I suppose they arc not engaged." 

" I do not know," said the archdeacon. " I cannot tell ! " 

" And what do you wish me to do ? " 

" Oh, nothing. I came over, as I said before, because I thought 
he was here. I think it right, before he has absolutely committed him- 
self, to take every means in my power to make him understand that I 
shall withdraw from him all pecuniary assistance, now and for the 
future." 

" My friend, that threat seems to me to be so terrible." 

" It is the only power I have left to me." 

" But you, who are so affectionate by nature, would never adhere 
to it." 

" I will try. I will do my best to be firm. I will at once put 
everything beyond my control after my death." The archdeacon, as 
he uttered these terrible words, words which were awful to Lady 
Lufton' s ears, resolved that he would endeavour to nurse his own 
wrath ; but, at the same time, almost hated himself for his own pusil- 



134 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

lanimity, because lie feared that his -wrath, would die away before he 
should have availed himself of its heat. 

" I would do nothing rash of that kind," said Lady Lufton. " Your 
object is to prevent the marriage, not to punish him for it when once 
he has made it." 

" He is not to have his own way in everything, Lady Lufton." 

" But you should first try to prevent it." 

" What can I do to prevent it ? " 

Lady Lufton paused for a couple of minutes before she replied. She 
had a scheme in her head, but it seemed to her to savour of cruelt} r . 
And yet at present it was her chief duty to assist her old friend, if any 
assistance could be given. There could hardly be a doubt that such a 
marriage as this, of which they were speaking, was in itself an evil.- In 
her case, the case of her son, there had been no question of a trial, of 
money stolen, of aught that was in truth disgraceful. "I think if I 
were you, Dr. Grantly," she said, ''that I would see the young lady 
while I was here." 

" See her myself? " said the archdeacon. The idea of seeing Grace 
Crawley himself had, up to this moment, never entered his head. 

" I think I would do so." 

" I think I will," said the archdeacon, after a pause. Then he got 
up from his chair. " If I am to do it, I had better do it at once." 

"Be gentle with her, my friend." The archdeacon paused again. 
He certainly had entertained the idea of encountering Miss Crawley 
with severity rather than gentleness. Lady Lufton rose from her seat, 
and coming up to him, took one of his hands between her own two. 
" Be gentle to her," she said. " You have owned that she has done 
nothing wrong." The archdeacon bowed his head in token of assent 
and left the room. 

Poor Grace Crawley ! 



CHAPTER LYII. 

A DOUBLE PLEDGE. 

THE archdeacon, as lie walked across from the court to the parsonage, 
was very thoughtful and his steps wore very slow. This idea of seeing 
Miss Crawley herself had been suggested to him suddenly, and he had 
to determine how ho would bear himself towards her, and what he 
would say to her. Lady Lufton had beseeched him to be gentle with 
her. Was the mission one in which gentleness would be possible ? 
Must it not be his object to make this young lady understand that she 
could not be right in desiring to come into his family and share in all 
his good things when she had got no good things of her own, nothing 
but evil things to bring with her ? And how could this be properly 
explained to the young lady in gentle terms ? Must he not be round 
with her, and give her to understand in plain words, the plainest 
which he could use, that she would not get his good things, though 
sho would most certainly impose the burden of all her evil things on 
the man whom she was proposing to herself as a husband. He remem- 
bered very well as he went, that he had been told that Miss Crawley 
had herself refused the offer, feeling herself to be unfit for the honour 
tendered to her ; but he suspected the sincerity of such a refusal. Cal- 
culating in his own mind the unreasonably great advantages which would 
be conferred on such a young lady as Miss Crawley by a marriage with 
his son, he declared to himself that any girl must be very wicked indeed 
who should expect, or even accept, so much more than was her due ; 
but nevertheless he could not bring himself to believe that any girl, when 
so tempted, would, in sincerity, decline to commit this great wickedness. 
If he was to do any good by seeing Miss Crawley, must it not consist in a 
proper explanation to her of the selfishness, abomination, and altogether 
damnable blackness of such wickedness as this on the part of a young 
woman in her circumstances? "Heaven and earth!" he must say, 
"here are you, without a penny in your pocket, with hardly decent 
raiment on your back, with a thief for your father, and you think that 
you are to come and share in all the wealth that the Grantlys have 
amassed, that you are to have a husband with broad acres, a big house, 
and game preserves, and become one of a family whose name has never 



136 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

been touched by a single accusation, no, not by a suspicion ? No ; 
injustice such as that shall never be done betwixt you and me. You 
may wring my heart, and you may ruin my son ; but the broad acres 
and the big house, and the game preserves, and the rest of it, shall never 
be your reward for doing so." How was all that to be told effectively to a 
young woman in gGntle words ? And then how was a man in the arch- 
deacon's position t be desirous of gentle words, gentle words which 
would not be efficient, when he knew well in his heart of hearts that 
he had nothing but his threats on which to depend. He had no more 
power of disinheriting his own son for such an offence as that contem- 
plated than he had of blowing out his own brains, and he knew that 
it was so. He was a man incapable of such persistency of wrath 
against one whom he loved. He was neither cruel enough nor strong 
enough to do such a thing. He could only threaten to do it, and 
make what best use he might of threats, whilst threats might be of 
avail. In spite of all that he had said to his wife, to Lady Lufton, 
and to himself, he knew very well that if his son did sin in this way he, 
the father, would forgive the sin of the son. 

In going across from the front gate of the Court to the parsonage there 
was a place where three roads met, and on this spot there stood a 
finger-post. Bound this finger-post there was now pasted a placard, 
which at once arrested the archdeacon's eye : " Cosby Lodge Sale of 
furniture Growing crops to be sold on the grounds. Three hunters. 
A brown gelding warranted for saddle or harness ! " The archdeacon 
himself had given the brown gelding to his son, as a great treasure. 
" Three Alderney cows, two cow-calves, a low phaeton, a gig, two ricks 
of hay." In this fashion were proclaimed in odious details all those 
comfortable additions to a gentleman's house in the country, with which 
the archdeacon was so well acquainted. Only last November he had 
recommended his son to buy a certain new-invented clod-crusher, and 
the clod-crusher had of course been bought. The bright blue paint 
upon it had not as yet given way to the stains of the ordinary farmyard 
muck and mire ; and here was the clod- crusher advertised for sale ! 
The archdeacon did not want his son to leave Cosby Lodge. He knew 
well enough that his son need not leave Cosby Lodge. Why had 
the foolish fellow been in such a hurry with his hideous ill-conditioned 
advertisements ? Gentle ! How was he in such circumstances to be 
gentle ? He raised his umbrella and poked angrily at the disgusting 
notice. The iron ferule caught the paper at a chink in the post, and 
tore it from the top to the bottom. But what was the use ? A horrid 
ugly bill lying torn in such a spot would attract only more attention 



A DOUBLE PLEDGE. 137 

than one fixed to a post. He could not condescend, however, to give 
to it further attention, but passed on up to the parsonage. Gentle, 
indeed ! 

Nevertheless Archdeacon Grantly was a gentleman, and never yet 
had dealt more harshly with any woman than we have sometimes seen 
him do with his wife, when he would say to her an angry word or two 
with a good deal of marital authority. His wife, who knew well what 
his angry words were worth, never even suggested to herself that she 
had cause for complaint on that head. Had she known that the arch- 
deacon was about to undertake such a mission as this which he had 
now in hand, she would not have warned him to be gentle. She, 
indeed, would have strongly advised him not to undertake the mission, 
cautioning him that the young lady would probably get the better of 
him. 

"Grace my dear," said Mrs. Eobarts, coming up into the nursery 
in which Miss Crawley was sitting with the children, " come out here 
a moment, will you ? " Then Grace left the children and went out 
into the passage. " My dear, there is a gentleman in the drawing- 
room who asks to see you." 

"A gentleman, Mrs. Kobarts ! What gentleman?" But Grace, 
though she asked the question, conceived that the gentleman must be 
Henry Grantly. Her mind did not suggest to her the possibility of 
any other gentleman coming to see her. 

" You must not be surprised, or allow yourself to be frightened." 

" Oh, Mrs. Kobarts, who is it ? " 

"It is Major Grantly 's father." 

"The archdeacon ?" 

"Yes, dear; Archdeacon Grantly. He is in the drawing-room." 

" Must I see him, Mrs. Kobarts ? " 

"Well, Grace, I think you must. I hardly know how you can 
refuse. He is an intimate friend of everybody here at Framley." 

" What will he say to me ? " 

" Nay ; that I cannot tell. I suppose you know " 

" He has come, no doubt, to bid me have nothing to say to his son. 
He need not have troubled himself. But he may say what he likes. 
I am not a coward, and I will go to him." 

"Stop a moment, Grace. Come into my room for an instant. 
The children have pulled your hair about." But, Grace, though she 
followed Mrs. Kobarts into the bedroom, would have nothing done to 
her hair. She was too proud for that, and we may say, also, too little 
confident in any good which such resources might effect on her behalf. 

II. xxn. Y y 



138 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Never mind about that," she said. "What am I to say to him l ? " 
Mrs. Bobarts paused before she replied, feeling that the matter was one 
which required some deliberation. " Tell me what I must say to him ? " 
said Grace, repeating her question. 

" I hardly know what your own feelings are, my dear." 

"Yes, you do. You do know. If I had all the world to give, 
I would give it all to Major Grantly." 

"Tell him that, then." 

" No, I will not tell him that. Never mind about my frock, Mrs. 
Robarts. I do not care for that. I will tell him that I love his son 
and his granddaughter too well to injure them. I will tell him nothing 
else. I might as well go now." Mrs. Robarts, as she looked at Grace, 
was astonished at the serenity of her face. And yet when her hand 
was on the drawing-room door Grace hesitated, looked back, and 
trembled. Mrs. Robarts blew a kiss to her from the stairs ; and then 
the door was opened, and the girl found herself in the presence of the 
archdeacon. He was standing on the rug, with his back to the fire, 
and his heavy ecclesiastical hat was placed on the middle of the round 
table. The hat caught Grace's eye at the moment of her entrance, and 
she felt that all the thunders of the Church were contained within it. 
And then the archdeacon himself was so big and so clerical, and so 
imposing! Her father's aspect was severe, but the severity of her 
father's face was essentially different from that expressed by the arch- 
deacon. Whatever impression came from her father came from the 
man himself. There was no outward adornment there; there was, 
so to say, no wig about Mr. Crawley. Now the archdeacon was not 
exactly adorned ; but he was so thoroughly imbued with high clerical 
belongings and sacerdotal fitnesses as to appear always as a walking, 
sitting, or standing impersonation of parsondom. To poor Grace, as 
she entered the room, he appeared to be an impersonation of parson- 
dom in its severest aspect. 

" Miss Crawley, I believe ? " said he. 

" Yes, sir," said she, curtseying ever so slightly, as she stood 
before him at some considerable distance. 

His first idea was that his son must be indeed a fool if he was going 
to give up Cosby Lodge and all Barsetshire, and retire to Pau, for so 
slight and unattractive a creature as he now saw before him. But this 
idea stayed with him only for a moment. As he continued to gaze at 
her during the interview he came to perceive that there was very much 
more than he had perceived at the first glance, and that his son, after 
all, had had eyes to see, though perhaps not a heart to understand. 



A DOUBLE PLEDGE. 139 

"Will you not take a chair?" lie said. Then Grace sat down, 
still at a distance from the archdeacon, and he kept his place upon the 
rug. He felt that there would be a difficulty in making her feel the 
full force of his eloquence all across the room ; and yet he did not 
know how to bring himself nearer to her. She became suddenly very 
important in his eyes, and he was to some extent afraid of her. She 
was so slight, so meek, so young ; and yet there was about her some- 
thing so beautifully feminine, and, withal, so like a lady, that he 
felt instinctively that he could not attack her with harsh words. Had 
her lips been full, and her colour high, and had her eyes rolled, had 
she put forth against him any of that ordinary artillery with which 
youthful feminine batteries are charged, he would have been ready 
to rush to the combat. But this girl, about whom his son had gone 
mad, sat there as passively as though she were conscious of the 
possession of no artillery. There was not a single gun fired from 
beneath her eyelids. He knew not why, but he respected his son now 
more than he had respected him for the last two months ; more, 
perhaps, than he had ever respected him before. He was as eager as 
ever against the marriage ; but in thinking of his son in what he said 
and did after these few first moments of the interview, he ceased to 
think of him with contempt. The creature before him was a woman 
who grew in his opinion till he began to feel that she was in truth fit to 
be the wife of his son if only she were not a pauper, and the daughter of 
a mad curate, and, alas ! too probably, of a thief. Though his feeling 
towards the girl was changed, his duty to himself, his family, and his 
son, was the same as ever, and therefore he began his task. 

" Perhaps you had not expected to see me ? " he said. 

4 'No, indeed, sir." 

" Nor had I intended when I came over here to call on my old 
friend, Lady Lufton, to come up to this house. But as I knew 
that you were here, Miss Crawley, I thought that upon the whole it 
would be better that I should see you." Then he paused as though 
he expected that Grace would say something ; but Grace had nothing 
to say. " Of course you must understand, Miss Crawley, that I should 
not venture to speak to you on this subject unless I myself were very 
closely interested in it." He had not yet said what was the subject, 
and it was not probable that Grace should give him any assistance by 
affecting to understand this without direct explanation from him. She 
sat quite motionless, and did not even aid him by showing by her altered 
colour that she understood his purpose. "My son has told me," said 
he, "that he has professed an attachment for you, Miss Crawley." 



140 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Then there was another pause, and Grace felt that she was com- 
pelled to say something. " Major Grantly has been very good to 
me," she said, and then she hated herself for having uttered words 
which were so tame and unwomanly in their spirit. Of course her 
lover's father would despise her for having so spoken. After all it did 
not much signify. If he would only despise her and go away, it would 
perhaps be for the best. 

" I do not know about being good," said the archdeacon. " I think 
he is good. I think he means to be good." 

" I am sure he is good," said Grace, warmly. 

" You know he has a daughter, Miss Crawley ? " 

" Oh, yes ; I know Edith well." 

" Of course his first duty is to her. Is it not ? And he owes much 
to his family. Do you not feel that ? " 

"Of course I feel it, sir." The poor girl had always heard Dr. 
Grantly spoken of as the archdeacon, but she did not in the least know 
what she ought to call him. 

" Now, Miss Crawley, pray listen to me ; I will speak to you very 
openly. I must speak to you openly, because it is my duty on my 
son's behalf but I will endeavour to speak to you kindly also. Of 
yourself I have heard nothing but what is favourable, and there is no 
reason as yet why I should not respect and esteem you." Grace told 
herself that she would do nothing which ought to forfeit his respect 
and esteem, but that she did not care two straws whether his respect 
and esteem were bestowed on her or not. She was striving after some- 
thing very different from that. " If my son were to marry you, he 
would greatly injure himself, and would very greatly injure his child." 
Again he paused. He had told her to listen, and she was resolved that 
she would listen, unless he should say something which might make a 
word from her necessary at the moment. " I do not know whether there 
does at present exist any engagement between you ? " 

" There is no engagement, sir." 

" I am glad of that, very glad of it. I do not know whether you 
are aware that my son is dependent upon me for the greater part of his 
income. It is so, and as I am so circumstanced with my son, of course 
I feel the closest possible concern in his future prospects." The 
archdeacon did not know how to explain clearly why the fact of his 
making a son an annual allowance should give him a warmer interest 
in his son's affairs than he might have had had the major been altogether 
independent of him ; but he trusted that Grace would understand this 
by her own natural lights. "Now, Miss Crawley, of course I cannot 



A DOUBLE PLEDGE. 141 

wish to say a word that shall hurt your feelings. But there are 
reasons ' ' 

" I know," said she, interrupting him. "Papa is accused of steal- 
ing money. He did not steal it, but people think he did. And then 
we are so very poor." 

" You do understand me then, and I feel grateful ; I do indeed." 

" I don't think our being poor ought to signify a bit," said Grace. 
" Papa is a gentleman and a clergyman, and mamma is a lady." 

" But, my dear " 

" I know I ought not to be your son's wife as long as people think 
that papa stole the money. If he had stolen it, I ought never to be 
Major Grantly's wife, or anybody's wife. I know that very well. 
And as for Edith, I would sooner die than do anything that would 
be bad to her." 

The archdeacon had now left the rug, and advanced till he was 
almost close to the chair on which Grace was sitting. "My dear," he 
said, "what you say does you very much honour, very much honour 
indeed." Now that he was close to her, he could look into her eyes, 
and he could see the exact form of her jeatures, and could understand, 
could not help understanding, the character of her countenance. 
It was a noble face, having in it nothing that was poor, nothing that 
was mean, nothing that was shapeless. It was a face that promised 
infinite beauty, with a promise that was on the very verge of fulfilment. 
There was a play about her mouth as she spoke, and a curl in her 
nostril as the eager words came from her, which almost made the selfish 
father give way. Why had they not told him that she was such a one 
as this ? Why had not Henry himself spoken of the speciality of her 
beauty ? No man in England knew better than the archdeacon the 
difference between beauty of one kind and beauty of another kind in a 
woman's face, the one beauty, which comes from health and youth 
and animal spirits, and which belongs to the miller's daughter, and the 
other beauty, which shows itself in fine lines and a noble spirit, the 
beauty which comes from breeding. " What you say does you very 
much honour indeed," said the archdeacon. 

" I should not mind at all about being poor," said Grace. 

"No; no; no," said the archdeacon. 

" Poor as we are, and no clergyman, I think, ever was so poor, I 
should have done as your son asked me at once, if it had been only 
that, because I love him." 

" If you love him you will not wish to injure him." 

"I will not injure him. Sir, there is my promise." And now as 



142 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAKSET. 

she spoke she rose from her chair, and standing close to the archdeacon, 
laid her hand veiy lightly on the sleeve of his coat. " There is niy 
promise. As long as people say that papa stole the money, I will never 
marry your son. There." 

The archdeacon was still looking down at her, and feeling the slight 
touch of her fingers, raised his arm a little as though to welcome the 
pressure. He looked into her eyes, which were turned eagerly towards 
his, and when doing so was quite sure that the promise would be kept. 
It would have been sacrilege, he felt that it would have been sacrilege, 
to doubt such a promise. He almost relented. His soft heart, 
which was never very well under his own control, gave way so far that 
he was nearly moved to tell her that, on his son's behalf, he acquitted 
her of the promise. What could any man's son do better than have 
such a woman for his wife ? It would have been of no avail had he 
made her such offer. The pledge she had given had not been wrung 
from her by his influence, nor could his influence have availed ought 
with her towards the alteration of her purpose. It was not the arch- 
deacon who had taught her that it would not be her duty to take dis- 
grace into the house of the man she loved. As he looked down upon 
her face two tears formed themselves in his eyes, and gradually trickled 
down his old nose. " My dear," he said, "if this cloud passes away 
from you, you shall come to us and be my daughter." And thus he 
also pledged himself. There was a dash of generosity about the man, 
in spite of his selfishness, which always made him desirous of giving 
largely to those who gave largely to him. He would fain that his gifts 
should be the bigger, if it were possible. He longed at this moment to 
tell her that the dirty cheque should go for nothing. Ho would have 
done it, I think, but that it was impossible for him so to speak in her 
presence of that which moved her so greatly. 

He had contrived that her hand should fall from his arm into his 
grasp, and now for a moment he held it. "You are a good girl," he 
said " a dear, dear, good girl. When this cloud had passed away, you 
shall come to us and be our daughter." 

" But it will never pass away," said Grace. 

" Let us hope that it may. Let us hope that it may." Then he 
stooped over her and kissed her, and leaving the room, got out into the 
hall and thence into the garden, and so away, without saying a word of 
adieu to Mrs. Robarts. 

As he walked across to the Court, whither he was obliged to go, 
because of his chaise, he was lost in surprise at what had occurred. He 
had gone to the parsonage, hating the girl, and despising his son. Now, 




" BUT IT WILL NEVER PASS AWAY," SAID GRACE. 



A DOUBLE PLEDGE. 143 

as lie retraced liis steps, his feelings were altogether changed. He 
admired the girl, and as for his son, even his anger was for the 
moment altogether gone. He would write to his son at once and 
implore him to stop the sale. He would tell his son all that had 
occurred, or rather would make Mrs. Grantly do so. In respect to his 
son he was quite safe. He thought at that moment that he was safe. 
There would be no use in hurling further threats at him. If Crawley 
were found guilty of stealing the money, there was the girl's promise. 
If he were acquitted, there was his own pledge. He remembered per- 
fectly well that the girl had said more than this, that she had not con- 
fined her assurance to the verdict of a jury, that she had protested that 
she would not accept Major Grantly's hand as long as people thought 
that her father had stolen the cheque ; but the archdeacon felt that it 
would be ignoble to hold her closely to her words. The event, according 
to his ideas of the compact, was to depend upon the verdict of the jury. 
If the jury should find Mr. Crawley not guilty, all objection on his part 
to the marriage was to be withdrawn. And he would keep his word ! 
In such case it should be withdrawn. 

When he came to the rags of the auctioneer's bill, which he had 
before torn down with his umbrella, he stopped a moment to consider 
how he would act at once. In the first place he would tell his son that 
his threats were withdrawn, and would ask him to remain at Cosby 
Lodge. He would write the letter as he passed through Barchester, on 
his way home, so that his son might receive it on the following morning ; 
and he would refer the major to his mother for a full explanation of the 
circumstances. Those odious bills must be removed from every barn- 
door and wall in the county. At the present moment his anger against 
his son was chiefly directed against his ill-judged haste in having put up 
those ill-omened posters. Then he paused to consider what must be 
his wish as to the verdict of the jury. He had pledged himself to abide 
by the verdict, and he could not but have a wish on the subject. Could 
he desire in his heart that Mr. Crawley should be found guilty ? He 
stood still for a moment thinking of this, and then he walked on, shaking 
his head. If it might be possible he would have no wish on the subject 
whatsoever. 

" Well ! " said Lady Lufton, stopping him in the passage, " have 
you seen her ? " 

" Yes ; I have seen her." 

"Well?" 

" She is a good girl, a very good girl. I am in a great hurry, and 
hardly know how to tell you more now." 



144 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSEf. 

" You say that she is a good girl ? " 

" I say that she is a very good girl. An angel could not have 
behaved better. I will tell you all some day, Lady Lufton, but I can 
hardly tell you now." 

When the archdeacon was gone old Lady Lufton confided to young 
Lady Lufton her very strong opinion that many months would not be 
gone by before Grace Crawley would be the mistress of Cosby Lodge. 
"It will be great promotion," said the old lady, with a little toss of 
her head. 

When Grace was interrogated afterwards by Mrs. Robarts as to 
what had passed between her and the archdeacon she had very little to 
say as to the interview. " No, he did not scold me," she replied to an 
inquiry from her friend. " But he spoke about your engagement ?" 
said Mrs. Robarts. , " There is no engagement," said Grace. " But I 
suppose you acknowledged, my dear, that a future engagement is quite 
possible?" "I told him, Mrs. Robarts," Grace answered, after 
hesitating for a moment, " that I would never many his son as long as 
papa was suspected by any one in the world of being a thief. And I 
will keep my word." But she said nothing to Mrs. Robarts of the 
pledge which the archdeacon had made to her. 



CHAPTER LVm. 



THE CEOSS-GRAINEDNESS OF MEN. 

Y the time that the archdeacon 
reached Plumstead his en- 
thusiasm in favour of Grace 
Crawley had somewhat cooled 
itself ; and the language which 
from time to time he prepared 
for conveying his impressions 
to his wife, became less fervid 
as he approached his home. 
There was his pledge, and by 
that he would abide ; and so 
much he would make both his 
wife and his son understand. 
But any idea which he might 
have entertained for a moment 
of extending the promise he 
had given and relaxing that 
given to him was gone before 
he saw his own chimneys. Indeed, I fear he had by that time begun 
to feel that the only salvation now open to him must come from the 
jury's verdict. If the jury should declare Mr. Crawley to be guilty, 

then ; he would not say even to himself that in such case all 

would be right, but he did feel that much as he might regret the fate 
of the poor Crawley s, and of the girl whom in his warmth he had 
declared to be almost an angel, nevertheless to him personally such 
a verdict would bring consolatory comfort. 

"I have seen Miss Crawley," he said to his wife, as soon as he 
had closed the door of his study, before he had been two minutes out 
of the chaise. He had determined that he would dash at the subject 
at once, and he thus carried his resolution into effect. 
" You have seen Grace Crawley ? " 

" Yes ; I went up to the parsonage and called upon her. Lady 
Luffcon advised me to do so." 
"And Henry?" 

II. XXIIJ, Z Z 




146 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Oh, Henry has gone. He was only there one night. I suppose 
he saw her, but I am not sure." 

" Would not Miss Crawley tell you ? " 

" I forgot to ask her." Mrs. Grantly, at hearing this, expressed her 
surprise by opening wide her eyes. He had gone all the way over 
to Framley on purpose to look after his son, and learn what were his 
doings, and when there he had forgotten to ask the person who could 
have given him better information than any one else ! " But it does 
not signify," continued the archdeacon ; " she said enough to me to 
make that of no importance." 

" And what did she say ? " 

" She said that she would never consent. to marry Henry as long 
as there was any suspicion abroad as to her father's guilt." 

" And you believe her promise ? " 

" Certainly I do ; I do not doubt it in the least. I put implicit 
confidence in her. And I have promised her that if her father is 
acquitted, I will withdraw my opposition." 

"No!" 

" But I have. And you would have done the same had you been 
there." 

" I doubt that, my dear. I am not so impulsive as you are." 

" You could not have helped yourself. You would have felt your- 
self obliged to be equally generous with her. She came up to me and 

she put her hand upon me " " Psha ! " said Mrs. Grantly. 

" But she did, my dear ; and then she said, ' I promise you that I will 
not become your son's wife while people think that papa stole this 
money.' What else could I do ? " 

"And is she pretty?" 

" Very pretty ; very beautiful." 

" And like a lady ? " 

" Quite like a lady. There is no mistake about that." 

" And she behaved well ?" 

" Admirably," said the archdeacon, who was in a measure com- 
pelled to justify the generosity into which he had been betrayed by his 
feelings. 

" Then she is a paragon," said Mrs. Grantly. 

" I don't know what you may call a paragon, my dear. I say that 
she is a lady, and that she is extremely good-looking, and that she 
behaved very well. I cannot say less in her favour. I am sure you 
would not say less yourself, if you had been present." 

" She must be a wonderful young woman." 



THE CROSS-GEAINEDNESS OF MEN. 147 

" I don't know anything about her being wonderful." 
" She must be wonderful when she has succeeded both with the 
son and with the father." 

" I wish you had been there instead of me," said the archdeacon, 
angrily. Mrs. Grantly very probably wished so also, feeling that in 
that case a more serene mode of business would have been adopted. 
How keenly susceptible the archdeacon still was to the influences of 
feminine charms, no one knew better than Mrs. Grantly, and whenever 
she became aware that he had been in this way seduced from the 
wisdom of his cooler judgment she always felt something akin to 
indignation against the seducer. As for her husband, she probably 
told herself at such moments that he was an old goose. " If you had 
been there, and Henry with you, you would have made a great deal 
worse job of it than I have done," said the archdeacon. 

"I don't say you have made a bad job of it, my dear," said Mrs. 
Grantly. "But it's past eight, and you must be terribly in want of 
your dinner. Had you not better go up and dress ? " 

In the evening the plan of the future campaign was arranged 
between them. The archdeacon would not write to his son at all. In 
passing through Barchester he had abandoned his idea of despatching 
a note from the hotel, feeling that such a note as would be required 
was not easily written in a huny. Mrs. Grantly would now write to 
her son, telling him that circumstances had changed, that it would be 
altogether unnecessary for him to sell his furniture, and begging him 
to come over and see his father without a day's delay. She wrote her 
letter that night, and read to the archdeacon all that she had written, 
with the exception of the postscript : " You may be quite sure that 
there will be no unpleasantness with your father." That was the post- 
script which was not communicated to the archdeacon. 

On the third day after that Henry Grantly did come over to 
Plumstead. His mother in her letter to him had not explained how it 
had come to pass that the sale of his furniture would be unnecessary. 
His father had given him to understand distinctly that his income 
would be withdrawn from him unless he would express his intention of 
giving up Miss Crawley ; and it had been admitted among them all 
that Cosby Lodge must be abandoned if this were done. He certainly 
would not give up Grace Crawley. Sooner than that, he would give 
up every stick in his possession, and go and live in New Zealand if it 
were necessary. Not only had Grace's conduct to him made him thus 
firm, but the natural bent of his own disposition had tended that way 
also. His father had attempted to dictate to him, and sooner than 

z z 2 



148 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BABSET. 

submit to that he would sell the coat off his back. Had his father 
confined his opposition to advice, and had Miss Crawley been less firm 
in her view of her duty, the major might have been less firm also. 
But things had so gone that he was determined to be fixed as granite. 
If others would not be moved from their resolves, neither would he. 
Such being the state of his mind, he could not understand why he was 
thus summoned to Plumstead. He had already written over to Pau 
about his house, and it was well that he should, at any rate, see his 
mother before he started. He was willing, therefore, to go to Plumstead, 
but he took no steps as to the withdrawal of those auctioneer's bills to 
which the archdeacon so strongly objected. When .he drove into the 
rectory yard, his father was standing there before him. " Henry," he 
said, " I am very glad to see you. I am very much obliged to you for 
coming." Then Henry got out of his cart and shook hands with his 
father, and the archdeacon began to talk about the weather. " Your 
mother has gone into Barchester to see your grandfather," said the 
archdeacon. " If you are not tired, we might as well take a walk. I 
want to go up as far as Flurry's cottage." The major of course 
declared that he was not at all tired, and that he should be delighted 
of all things to go up and see old Flurry, and thus they started. 
Young Grantly had not even been into the house before he left the 
yard with his father. Of course, he was thinking of the corning sale at 
Cosby Lodge, and of his future life at Pau, and of his injured position 
in the world. There would be no longer any occasion for him to be 
solicitous as to the Plumstead foxes. Of course these things were in 
his mind ; but he could not begin to speak of them till his father did 
so. " I'm afraid your grandfather is not very strong," said the arch- 
deacon, shaking his head. " I fear he won't be with us very long." 

" Is it so bad as that, sir ? " 

" Well, you know, he is an old man, Henry ; and he was always 
somewhat old for his age. He will be eighty, if he lives two years 
longer, I think. But he'll never reach eighty ; never. You must go and 
see him before you go back home ; you must indeed." The major, of 
course, promised that he would see his grandfather, and the archdeacon 
told his son how nearly the old man had fallen in the passage between 
the cathedral and the deanery. In this way they had nearly made 
their way up to the gamekeeper's cottage without a word of reference 
to any subject that touched upon the matter of which each of them was 
of course thinking. Whether the major intended to remain at home or 
to live at Pau, the subject of Mr. Harding's health was a natural topic 
for conversation between him and his father; but when his father 



THE CROSS-GRAINEDNESS OF MEN. 149 

stopped suddenly, and began to tell him how a fox had been trapped on 
Darvell's farm, " and of course it was a Pluinstead fox, there can 
be no doubt that Flurry is right about that ; " when the archdeacon 
spoke of this iniquity with much warmth, and told his son how he had 
at once written off to Mr. Thome of Ullathorne, and how Mr. Thome 
had declared that he didn't believe a word of it, and how Flurry had 
produced the pad of the fox, with the marks of the trap on the skin, 
then the son began to feel that the ground was becoming veiy warm, 
and that he could not go on much longer without rushing into details 
about Grace Crawley. " I've no more doubt that it was one of our 
foxes than that I stand here," said the archdeacon. 

" It doesn't matter where the fox was bred. It shouldn't have 
been trapped," said the major. 

" Of course not," said the archdeacon, indignantly. I wonder 
whether he would have been so keen had a Romanist priest come into 
his parish, and turned one of his Protestants into a Papist ? 

Then Flurry came up, and produced the identical pad out of his 
pocket. " I don't suppose it was intended," said the major, looking at 
the interesting relic with scrutinizing eyes. " I suppose it was caught 
in a rabbit-tr^p, eh, Flurry ? " 

" I don't see what right a man has with traps at all, when gentle- 
men is particular about their foxes," said Flurry. " Of course they'd 
call it rabbits." 

" I never liked that man on Darvell's farm," said the archdeacon. 

" Nor I either," said Flurry. " No farmer ought to be on that land 
who don't have a horse of his own. And if I war Squire Thorne, I 
wouldn't have no farmer there who didn't keep no horse. When a 
farmer has a horse of his own, and follies the hounds, there ain't no 
rabbit-traps ; never. How does that come about, Mr. Henry ? 
Rabbits ! I know very well what rabbits is ! " 

Mr. Henry shook his head, and turned away, and the archdeacon 
followed him. There was an hypocrisy about this pretended care for 
the foxes which displeased the major. He could not, of course, tell his 
father that the foxes were no longer anything to him ; but yet he must 
make it understood that such was his conviction. His mother had 
written to him, saying that the sale of furniture need not take place. 
It might be all very well for his mother to say that, or for his father ; 
but, after what had taken place, he could consent to remain in England 
on no other understanding than that his income should be made per- 
manent to him. Such permanence must not be any longer dependent 
on his father's caprice. In these days he had come to be somewhat in 



150 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

love with poverty and Pau, and had been feeding on the luxury of his 
grievance. There is, perhaps, nothing so pleasant as the preparation 
for self-sacrifice. To give up Cosby Lodge and the foxes, to marry a 
penniless wife, and go and live at Pau on six or seven hundred a year, 
seemed just now to Major Grantly to be a fine thing, and he did not 
intend to abandon this fine thing without receiving a very clear reason 
for doing so. " I can't quite understand Thome," said the archdeacon. 
" He used to be so particular about the foxes, and I don't suppose that 
a country gentleman will change his ideas because he has given up 
hunting himself." 

" Mr. Thome never thought much of Flurry," said Henry Grantly, 
with his mind intent upon Pau and his grievance. 

" He might take my word at any rate," said the archdeacon. 

It was a known fact that the archdeacon's solicitude about the 
Plumstead covers was wholly on behalf of his son the major. The 
major himself knew this thoroughly, and felt that his father's present 
special anxiety was intended as a corroboration of the tidings conveyed 
in his mother's letter. Every word so uttered was meant to have 
reference to his son's future residence in the country. " Father," he 
said, turning round shortly, and standing before the archdeacon in the 
pathway, " I think you are quite right about the covers. I feel sure 
that every gentleman who preserves a fox does good to the country. I 
am sorry that I shall not have a closer interest in the matter 
myself." 

" Why shouldn't you have a closer interest in it ?" said the arch- 
deacon. 

" Because I shall be living abroad." 

" You got your mother's letter ? " 

" Yes ; I got my mother's letter." 

" Did she not tell you that you can stay where you are ? " 

" Yes, she said so. But, to tell you the truth, sir, I do not like the 
risk of living beyond my assured income." 

"But if I justify it?" 

" I do not wish to complain, sir, but you have made me understand 
that you can, and that in certain circumstances you will, at a moment, 
withdraw what you give me. Since this was said to me, I have felt 
myself to be unsafe in such a house as Cosby Lodge." 

The archdeacon did not know how to explain. He had intended 
that the real explanation should be given by Mrs. Grantly, and had 
been anxious to return to his old relations with his son without any 
exact terms on his own part. But his son was, as he thought, awkward, 



THE CKOSS-GKAINEDNESS OF MEN. 151 

and would drive him to some speech that was unnecessary. " You 
need not be unsafe there at all," he said, half angrily. 

" I must be unsafe if I am not sure of my income." 

" Your income is not in any danger. But you had better speak to 
your mother about it. For myself, I think I may say that I have never 
yet behaved to any of you with harshness. A son should, at any rate, 
not be offended because a father thinks that he is entitled to some 
consideration for what he does." 

" There are some points on which a son cannot give way even to 
his father, sir." 

"You had better speak to your mother, Henry. She will explain 
to you what has taken place. Look at that plantation. You don't 
remember it, but every tree there was planted since you were born. 
I bought that farm from old Mr. Thome, when he was purchasing 
St. Ewold's Downs, and it was the first bit of land I ever had of 
my own." 

" That is not in Plumstead, I think ? " 

" No : this is Plumstead, where we stand, but that's in Eiderdown. 
The parishes run in and out here. I never bought any other land as 
cheap as I bought that." 

" And did old Thorne make a good purchase at St. Ewold's ? " 

" Yes, I fancy he did. It gave him the whole of the parish, which 
was a great thing. It is astonishing how land has risen in value since 
that, and yet rents are not so very much higher. They who buy land 
now can't have above two-and-a-half for their money." 

" I wonder people are so fond of land," said the major. 

"It is a comfortable feeling to know that you stand on your own 
ground. Land is about the only thing that can't fly away. And then, 
you see, land gives so much more than the rent. It gives position and 
influence and political power, to say nothing about the game. We'll 
go back now. I daresay your mother will be at home by this time." 

The archdeacon was striving to teach a great lesson to his son when 
he thus spoke of the pleasure which a man feels when he stands upon 
his own ground. He was bidding his son to understand how great was 
the position of an heir to a landed property, and how small the position 
of a man depending on what Dr. Grantly himself would have called a 
scratch income, an income made up of a few odds and ends, a share 
or two in this company and a share or two in that, a slight venture in 
foreign stocks, a small mortgage and such like convenient but uninfluen- 
tial driblets. A man, no doubt, may live at Pau on driblets ; may pay his 
way and drink his bottle of cheap wine, and enjoy life after a fashion while 



152 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

reading Galignani and looking at the mountains. But, as it seemed to 
the archdeacon, when there was a choice between this kind of thing, 
and fox-covers at Plumstead, and a seat among the magistrates of 
Barsetshire, and an establishment full of horses, beeves, swine, carriages, 
and hayricks, a man brought up as his son had been brought up ought 
not to be very long in choosing. It never entered into the arch- 
deacon's mind that he was tempting his son ; but Henry Grantly felt 
that he was having the good things of the world shown to him, and 
that he was being told that they should be his for a consideration. 

The major, in his present mood, looked at the matter from his own 
point of view, and determined that the consideration was too high. He 
was pledged not to give up Grace Crawley, and he would not yield on 
that point, though he might be tempted by all the fox-covers in Barset- 
shire. At this moment he did not know how far his father was pre- 
pared to yield, or how far it was expected that he should yield himself. 
He was told that he had to speak to his mother. He would speak to 
his mother, but, in the meantime, he could not bring himself to make 
a comfortable answer to his father's eloquent praise of landed property. 
He could not allow himself to be enthusiastic on the matter till he 
knew what was expected of him if he chose to submit to be made a 
British squire. At present Galignani and the mountains had their 
charms for him. There was, therefore, but little conversation between 
the father and the son as they walked back to the rectory. 

Late that night the major heard the whole story from his mother. 
Gradually, and as though unintentionally, Mrs. Grantly told him all she 
knew of the archdeacon's visit to Framley. Mrs. Grantly was quite as 
anxious as was her husband to keep her son at home, and therefore she 
omitted in her story those little sneers against Grace which she herself 
had been tempted to make by the archdeacon's fervour in the girl's 
favour. The major said as little as was possible while he was being 
told of his father's adventure, and expressed neither anger nor satisfac- 
tion till he had been made thoroughly to understand that Grace had 
pledged herself not to marry him as long as any suspicion should rest 
upon her father's name. 

" Your father is quite satisfied with her," said Mrs. Grantly. " He 
thinks that she is behaving very well." 

" My father had no right to exact such a pledge." 

" But she made it of her own accord. She was the first to speak 
about Mr. Crawley' s supposed guilt. Your father never mentioned it." 

11 He must have led to it ; and I think he had no right to do so. 
He had no right to go to her at all." 



THE CROSS-GKAINEDNESS OP MEN. 153 

" Now don't be foolish, Henry." 

" I don't see that I am foolish." 

"Yes, you are. A man is foolish if he won't take what he wants 
without asking exactly how he is to come by it. That your father 
should be anxious is the most natural thing in the world. You know 
how high he has always held his own head, and how much he .thinks 
about the characters and position of clergymen. It is not surprising that 
he should dislike the idea of such a marriage." 

" Grace Crawley would disgrace no family," said the lover. 

" That's all very well for you to say, and I'll take your word that it 
is so ; that is as far as the young lady goes herself. And there's your 
father almost as much in love with her as you are. I don't know what 
you would have ? " 

" I would be left alone." 

" But what harm has been done you ? From what you yourself 
have told me, I know that Miss Crawley has said the same thing to you 
that she has said to her father. You can't but admire her for the feeling." 

" I admire her for everything." 

" Very well. We don't say anything against that." 

" And I don't mean to give her up." 

" Very well again. Let us hope that Mr. Crawley will be acquitted, 
and then all will be right. Your father never goes back from his 
promise. He is always better than his word. You'll find that if Mr. 
Crawley is acquitted, or if he escapes in any way, your father will only 
be happy of an excuse to make much of the young lady. You should 
not be hard on him, Henry. Don't you see that it is his one great 
desire to keep you near to him ? The sight of those odious bills 
nearly broke his heart." 

" Then why did he threaten me ? " 

" Henry, you are obstinate." 

" I am not obstinate, mother." 

" Yes, you are. You remember nothing, and you forget nothing. 
You expect everything to be made smooth for you, and will do nothing 
towards making things smooth for anybody else. You ought to promise 
to give up the sale. If the worst came to the worst, your father would 
not let you suffer in pocket for yielding to him in so much. 

" If the worst comes to the worst, I wish to take nothing from my 
father." 

" You won't put off the sale, then ? " 

The son paused a moment before he answered his mother, thinking 
over all the circumstances of his position. " I cannot do so as long as 



154 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

I am subject to wy father's threat," he said at last. " ^Yhat took place 
between my father and Miss Crawley can go for nothing with me. He 
has told me that his allowance to me is to be withdrawn. Let him tell 
me that he has reconsidered the matter." 

" But he has not withdrawn it. The last quarter was paid to your 
account only the other day. He does not mean to withdraw it." 

" Let him tell me so ; let him tell me that my power of living at 
Cosby Lodge does not depend on my marriage, that my income will 
be continued to me whether I marry or no, and I'll arrange matters with 
the auctioneer to-morrow. You can't suppose that I should prefer to 
live in France." 

" Henry, you are too hard on your father." 

" I think, mother, he has been too hard upon me." 

" It is you that are to blame now. I tell you plainly that that is 
my opinion. If evil comes of it, it will be your own fault." 

" If evil come of it I must bear it." 

" A son ought to give up something to his father ; especially to a 
father so indulgent as yours." 

But it was of no use. And Mrs. Grantly when she went to her bed 
could only lament in her own mind over what, in discussing the matter 
afterwards with her sister, she called the cross-grainedness of men. 
" They are as like each other as two peas," she said, " and though 
each of them wished to be generous, neither of them would condescend 
to be just." Early on the following morning there was, no doubt, 
much said on the subject between the archdeacon and his wife before 
they met their son at breakfast ; but neither at breakfast nor afterwards 
was there a word said between the father and son that had the slightest 
reference to the subject in dispute between them. The archdeacon 
made no more speeches in favour of land, nor did he revert to the 
foxes. He was very civil to his son ; too civil by half, as Mrs. 
Grantly continued to say to herself. And then the major drove himself 
away in his cart, going through Barchester, so that he might see his 
grandfather. When he wished his father good-by, the archdeacon 
shook hands with him, and said something about the chance of rain. 
Had he not better take the big umbrella ? The major thanked him 
courteously, and said that he did not think it would rain. Then he was 
gone. " Upon his own head be it," said the archdeacon when his son's 
stop was heard in the passage leading to the back-yard. Then Mrs. 
Grantly got up quietly and followed her son. She found him settling 
himself in his dog-cart, while the servant who was to accompany him 
v-ras still at the horse's head. She went up close to him, and, standing 



THE CROSS-GRAINEDNESS OF MEN. 155 

by the wheel of the gig, whispered a word or two into his ear. "If 
you love me, Henry, you will postpone the sale. Do it for my sake." 
There came across his face a look of great pain, but he answered her 
not a word. 

The archdeacon was walking about the room striking one hand 
open with the other closed, clearly in a tumult of anger, when his wife 
returned to him. " I have done all that I can," he said, " all that I 
can ; more, indeed, than was becoming for me. Upon his own head be 
it. Upon his own head be it ! " 

" What is it that you fear ? " she asked. 

" I fear nothing. But if he chooses to sell his things at Cosby 
Lodge he must abide the consequences. They shall not be replaced 
with my money." 

" What will it matter if he does sell them ? " 
" Matter ! Do you think there is a single person in the county 
who will not know that his doing so is a sign that he has quarrelled 
with me ? " 

" But he has not quarrelled with you." 

" I can tell you then, that in that case I shall have quarrelled with 
him ! I have not been a hard father, but there are some things which 
a man cannot bear. Of course you will take his part." 

" I am taking no part. I only want to see peace between 
you." 

" Peace ! yes ; peace indeed. I am to yield in everything. I am 
to be nobody. Look here ; as sure as ever an auctioneer's hammer 
is raised at Cosby Lodge, I will alter the settlement of the property. 
Every acre shall belong to Charles. There is my word for it." The 
poor woman had nothing more to say ; nothing more to say at that 
moment. She thought that at the present conjuncture her husband 
was less in the wrong than her son, but she could not tell Vn'm so lest 
she should strengthen him in his wrath. 

Henry Grantly found his grandfather in bed, with Posy seated on 
the bed beside him. " My father told me that you were not quite well, 
and I thought that I would look in," said the major. 

"Thank you, my dear; it is very good of you. There is not 
much the matter with me, but I am not quite so strong as I was once." 
And the old man smiled as he held his grandson's hand. 
" And hqw is cousin Posy? " said the major. 
" Posy is quite well ; isn't she, my darling? " said the old man. 
" Grandpa doesn't go to the cathedral now," said Posy ; " so I 
come in to talk to him. Don't I, grandpa ? " 



156 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

61 And to play cat's-cradle ; only we have not had any cat's-cradle 
this morning, have we, Posy ? " 

" Mrs. Baxter told me not to play this morning, because it's cold 
for grandpa to sit up in bed," said Posy. 

When the major had been there about twenty minutes he was 
preparing to take his leave, but Mr. Harding, bidding Posy to go out 
of the room, told his grandson that he had a word to say to him. " I 
don't like to interfere, Henry," he said, " but I am afraid that things are 
not quite smooth at Plumstead." 

"There is nothing wrong between me and my mother," said the 
major. 

"God forbid that there should be; but, my dear boy, don't let 
there be anything wrong between you and your father. He is a good 
man, and the time will come when you will be proud of his memory." 

" I am proud of him now." 

11 Then be gentle with him, and submit yourself. I am an old 
man now, very fast going away from all those I love here. But I am 
happy in leaving my children because they have ever been gentle to me 
and kind. If I am permitted to remember them whither I am going, 
my thoughts of them will all be pleasant. Should it not be much to 
them that they have made my death-bed happy ? " 

The major could not but tell himself that Mr. Harding had been a 
man easy to please, easy to satisfy, and, in that respect, very different 
from his father. But of course he said nothing of this. " I will do 
my best," he replied. 

" Do, my boy. Honour thy father, that thy days may be long in 
the land." 

It seemed to the major as he drove away from Barchester that 
everybody was against him ; and yet he was sure that he himself was 
right. He could not give up Grace Crawley ; and unless he were to 
do so he could not live at Cosby Lodge. 




'HONOUR THY FATHER, THAT THY DAYS UAY BE LONG IN THE LAND.' 



CHAPTER LIX. 
A LADY PRESENTS HEE COMPLIMENTS TO MISS L, D. 

ONE morning, while Lily Dale was staying with Mrs. Thorne in London, 
there was brought up to her room, as she was dressing for dinner, a 
letter which the postman had just left for her. The address was 
written with a feminine hand, and Lily was at once aware that she did not 
know the writing. The angles were very acute, and the lines were very 
straight, and the vowels looked to be cruel and false, with their sharp 
points and their open eyes. Lily at once knew that it was the perform- 
ance of a woman who had been taught to write at school, and not at 
home, and she became prejudiced against the writer before she opened 
the letter. When she had opened the letter and read it, her feelings 
towards the writer were not of a kindly nature. It was as follows : 

" A lady presents her compliments to Miss L. D., and earnestly 
implores Miss L. D. to give her an answer to the following question. 
Is Miss L. D. engaged to marry Mr. J. E. ? The lady in question 
pledges herself not to interfere with Miss L. D. in any way, should the 
answer be in the affirmative. The lady earnestly requests that a reply 
to this question may be sent to M. D., Post-office, 455 Edgeware Road. 
In order that L. D. may not doubt that M. D. has an interest in J. E., 
M. D. encloses the last note she received from him before he started for 
the Continent." Then there was a scrap, which Lily well knew to be 
in the handwriting of John Eames, and the scrap was as follows : 
" Dearest M. Punctually at 8.30. Ever and always your unalterable 
J. E." Lily, as she read this, did not comprehend that John's note to 
M. D. had been in itself a joke. 

Lily Dale had heard of anonymous letters before, but had never 
received one, or even seen one. Now that she had one in her hand, it 
seemed to her that there could be nothing more abominable than the 
writing of such a letter. She let it drop from her, as though the 
receiving, and opening, and reading it had been a stain to her. As it 
lay on the ground at her feet, she trod upon it. Of what sort could a 
woman be who would write such a letter as that ? Answer it ! Of 
course she would not answer it. It never occurred to her for a moment 
that it could become her to answer it. Had she been at home or with 
her mother, she would have called her mother to her, and Mrs. Dale 



158 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BAESET. 

would have taken it from the ground, and have read it, and then 
destroyed it. As it was, she must pick it up herself. She did so, and 
declared to herself that there should be an end to it. It might be right 
that somebody should see it, and therefore she would show it to Emily 
Dunstable. After that it should be destroyed. 

Of course the letter could have no effect upon her. So she told 
herself. But it did have a very strong effect, and probably the exact 
effect which the writer had intended that it should have. J. E. was, of 
course, John Eames. There was no doubt about that. What a fool 
the writer must have been to talk of L. D. in the letter, when the out- 
side cover was plainly addressed to Miss Lilian Dale ! But there are 
some people for whom the pretended mystery of initial letters has a 
charm, and who love the darkness of anonymous letters. As Lily 
thought of this, she stamped on the letter again. Who was the M. D. 
to whom she was required to send an answer with whom John Eames 
corresponded in the most affectionate terms ? She had resolved that 
she would not even ask herself a question about M. D., and yet she 
could not divert her mind from the inquiry. It was, at any rate, a fact 
that there must be some woman designated by the letters, some woman 
who had, at any rate, chosen to call herself M. D. And John Eames 
had called her M. There must, at any rate, be such a woman. This 
female, be she who she might, had thought it worth her while to make 
this inquiry about John Eames, and had manifestly learned something 
of Lily's own history. And the woman had pledged herself not to 
interfere with John Eames, if L. D. would only condescend to say that 
she was engaged to him ! As Lily thought of the proposition, she trod 
upon the letter for the third time. Then she picked it up, and having 
no place of custody under lock and key ready to her hand, she put it in 
her pocket. 

At night, before she went to bed, she showed the letter to Emily 
Dunstable. " Is it not surprising that any woman could bring herself 
to write such a letter ? " said Lily. 

But Miss Dunstable hardly saw it in the same light. " If anybody 
were to write me such a letter about Bernard," said she, "I should 
show it to him as a good joke." 

" That would be very different. You and Bernard, of course, 
understand each other." 

" And so will you and Mr. Eames some day, I hope." 

" Never more than we do now, dear. The thing that annoys me 
is that such a woman as that should have even heard my name 
at all." 



A LADY PRESENTS HER COMPLIMENTS TO MISS L. D. 159 

" As long as people have got ears and tongues, people will hear 
other people's names." 

Lily paused a moment, and then spoke again, asking another ques- 
tion. " I suppose this woman does know him ? She must know him, 
because he has written to her." 

" She knows something about him, no doubt, and has some reason 
for wishing that you should quarrel with him. If I were you, I should 
take care not to gratify her. As for Mr. Eames's note, it is a joke." 

" It is nothing to me," said Lily. 

" I suppose," continued Emily, " that most gentlemen become 
acquainted with some people that they would not wish all their friends 
to know that they knew. They go about so much more than we do, 
and meet people of all sorts." 

" No gentleman should become intimately acquainted with a woman 
who could write such a letter as that," said Lily. And as she spoke 
she remembered a certain episode to John Eames's early life, which 
had reached her from a source which she had not doubted, and which 
had given her pain and offended her. She had believed that John 
Eames had in that case behaved cruelly to a young woman, and had 
thought that her offence had come simply from that feeling. " But of 
course it is nothing to me," she said. " Mr. Eames can choose his 
friends as he likes. I only wish that my name might not be mentioned 
to them." 

" It is not from him that she has heard it." 

"Perhaps not. As I said before, of course it does not signify; 
only there is something very disagreeable in the whole thing. The 
idea is so hateful ! Of course this woman means me to understand 
that she considers herself to have a claim upon Mr. Eames, and that I 
stand in her way." 

" And why should you not stand in her way ? " 

" I will stand in nobody's way. Mr. Eames has a right to give his 
hand to any one that he pleases. I, at any rate, can have no cause of 
offence against him. The only thing is that I do wish that my name 
could be left alone." Lily, when she was in her own room again, did 
destroy the letter; but before she did so she read it again, and it 
became so indelibly impressed on her memory that she could not forget 
even the words of it. The lady who wrote had pledged herself, under 
certain conditions, "not to interfere with Miss L. D." "Interfere 
with me!" Lily said to herself; "nobody can interfere with me; 
nobody has power to do so." As she turned it over in her mind, her 
heart became hard against John Eames. No woman would have 



160 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

troubled herself to write such a letter without some cause for the 
writing. That the miter was vulgar, false, and unfeminine, Lily 
thought that she could perceive from the letter itself; but no doubt 
the woman knew John Eames had some interest in the question of his 
marriage, and was entitled to some answer to her question ; only was 
not entitled to such answer from Lily Dale. 

For some weeks past now, up to the hour at which this anonymous 
letter had reached her hands, Lily's heart had been growing soft 
and still softer towards John Eames ; and now again it had become 
hardened. I think that the appearance of Adolphus Crosbie in the 
park, that momentary vision of the real man by which the divinity of 
the imaginary Apollo had been dashed to the ground, had done a 
service to the cause of the other lover ; of the lover who had never 
been a god, but who of late years had at any rate grown into the full 
dimensions of a man. Unfortunately for the latter, he had commenced 
his love-making when he was but little more than a boy. Lily, as she 
had thought of the two together, in the days of her solitude, after she 
had been deserted by Crosbie, had ever pictured to herself the lover 
whom she had preferred as having something godlike in his favour, as 
being far the superior in wit, in manner, in acquirement, and in personal 
advantage. There had been good nature and true hearty love on the 
side of the other man ; but circumstances had seemed to show that 
his good-nature was equal to all, and that he was able to share even 
his hearty love among two or three. A man of such a character, known 
by a girl from his boyhood as John Eames had been known by Lily 
Dale, was likely to find more favour as a friend than as a lover. So it 
had been between John Eames and Lily. While the untrue memory 
of what Crosbie was, or ever had been, was present to her, she could 
hardly bring herself to accept in her mind the idea of a lover who was 
less noble in his manhood than the false picture which that untrue 
memory was ever painting for her. Then had come before her eyes the 
actual man ; and though he had been seen but for a moment, the false 
image had been broken into shivers. Lily had discovered that she had 
been deceived, and that her forgiveness had been asked, not by a god, 
but by an ordinary human being. As regarded the ungodlike man 
himself, this could make no difference. Having thought upon the 
matter deeply, she had resolved that she would not many Mr. Crosbie, 
and had pledged herself to that effect to Mends who never could have 
brought themselves to feel affection for him, even had she married him. 
But the shattering of the false image might have done John Eames a 
good turn. Lily knew that she had at any rate full permission from all 



A LADY PRESENTS HEE COMPLIMENTS TO MISS L. D. 161 

her friends to throw in her lot with his, if she could persuade herself 
to do so. Mother, uncle, sister, brother-in-law, cousin, and now this 
new cousin's bride that was to be, together with Lady Julia and a 
whole crowd of Allington and Guestwick friends, were in favour of such 
a marriage. There had been nothing against it but the fact that thd 
other man had been dearer to her; and that other fact that poor 
Johnny lacked something, something of earnestness, something of : 
manliness, something of that Phaebus divinity with which Crosbie 
had contrived to invest his own image. But, as I have said above, 
John had gradually grown, if not into divinity, at least into manliness ; 
and the shattering of the false image had done him yeoman's service. 
Now had come this accursed letter, and Lily, despite herself, despite 
her better judgment, could not sweep it away from her mind and make 
the letter as nothing to her. M. D. had promised not to interfere with 
her ! There was no room for such interference, no possibility that such 
interference should take place. She hoped earnestly, so she told 
herself, that her old friend John Eames might have nothing to do with 
a woman so impudent and vulgar as must be this M. D. ; but except 
as regarded old friendship, M. D. and John Eames, apart or together, 
could be as nothing to her. Therefore, I say that the letter had had 
the effect which the writer of it had desired. 

All London was new to Lily Dale, and Mrs. Thornewas very anxious 
to show her everything that could be seen. She was to return to 
Allington before the flowers of May would have come, and the crowd 
and the glare and the fashion and the art of the Academy's great 
exhibition must therefore remain unknown to her ; but she was taken 
to see many pictures, and among others she was taken to see the 
pictures belonging to a certain nobleman who, with that munificence 
which is so amply enjoyed and so little recognized in England, keeps 
open house for the world to see the treasures which the wealth of his 
family has collected. The necessary order was procured, and on a 
certain brilliant April afternoon Mrs. Thorne and her party found them- 
selves in this nobleman's drawing-room. Lily was with her, of course, 
and Emily Dunstable was there, and Bernard Dale, and Mrs. Thome's 
dear friend Mrs. Harold Smith, and Mrs. Thome's constant and useful 
attendant, Siph Dunn. They had nearly completed their delightful 
but wearying task of gazing at pictures, and Mrs. Harold Smith had 
declared that she would not look at another painting till the exhibition 
was open ; three of the ladies were seated in the drawing-room, and 
Siph Dunn was standing before them, lecturing about art as though he 
had been brought up on the ancient masters ; Emily and Bernard were 

II. xxiii. 3 A 



162 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

lingering behind, and the others were simply delaying their departure 
till the truant lovers should have caught them. At this moment two 
gentlemen entered the room from the gallery, and the two gentlemen 
were Fowler Pratt and Adolphus Crosbie. 

All the party except Mrs. Thome knew Crosbie personally, and all 
of them except Mrs. Harold Smith knew something of the story of 
what had occurred between Crosbie and Lily. Siph Dunn had learned 
it all since the meeting in the Park, having nearly learned it all from 
what he had seen there with his eyes. But Mrs. Thome, who knew 
Lily's story, did not know Crosbie's appearance. But there was his 
friend Fowler Pratt, who, as will be remembered, had dined with her 
but the other day ; and she, with that outspoken and somewhat loud 
impulse which was natural to her, addressed him at onco across the 
room, calling him by name. Had she not done so, the two men might 
probably have escaped through the room, in which case they would 
have met Bernard Dale and Emily Dunstable in the doorway. Fowler 
Pratt would have endeavoured so to escape, and to carry Crosbie with 
him, as he was quite alive to the expedience of saving Lily from such a 
meeting. But, as things turned out, escape from Mrs. Thorne was 
impossible. 

" There's Fowler Pratt," she had said when they first entered, 
quite loud enough for Fowler Pratt to hear her. " Mr. Pratt, come 
here. How d'ye do ? You dined with me last Tuesday, and you've 
never been to call." 

"I never recognize that obligation till after the middle of May," 
said Mr. Pratt, shaking hands with Mrs. Thorne and Mrs. Smith, and 
bowing to Miss Dale. 

"I don't see the justice of that at all," said Mrs. Thome. "It 
seems to me that a good dinner is as much entitled to a morsel of 
pasteboard in April as at any other time. You won't have another till 
you have called, unless you're specially wanted." 

Crosbie would have gone on, but that in his attempt to do so he 
passed close by the chair on which Mrs. Harold Smith was sitting, and 
that he was accosted by her. "Mr. Crosbie," she said, "I haven't 
seen you for an age. Has it come to pass that you have buried your- 
self entirely?" He did not know how to extricate himself so as to 
move on at once. He paused, and hesitated, and then stopped, and 
made an attempt to talk to Mrs. Smith as though he were at his ease. 
The attempt was anything but successful ; but having once stopped, he 
did not know how to put himself in motion again, so that he might 
escape. At this moment Bernard Dale and Emily Dunstable came up 



A LADY PRESENTS HER COMPLIMENTS TO MISS L. D. 163 

and joined the group ; but neither of them had discovered who Crosbie 
was till they were close upon him. 

Lily was seated between Mrs. Thome and Mrs. Smith, and Siph 
Dunn had been standing immediately opposite to them. Fowler Pratt, 
who had been drawn into the circle against his will, was now standing 
close to Dunn, almost between him and Lily, and Crosbie was stand- 
ing within two yards of Lily, on the other side of Dunn. Emily and 
Bernard had gone behind Pratt and Crosbie to Mrs. Thome's side 
before they had recognized the two men ; and in this way Lily was 
completely surrounded. Mrs. Thorne, who, in spite of her eager, 
impetuous ways, was as thoughtful of others as any woman could be, 
as soon as she heard Crosbie' s name understood it all, and knew that 
it would be well that she should withdraw Lily from her plight. 
Crosbie, in his attempt to talk to Mrs. Smith, had smiled and simpered, 
and had then felt that to smile and simper before Lily Dale, with a 
pretended indifference to her presence, was false on his part, and would 
seem to be mean. He would have avoided Lily for both their sakes, 
had it been possible ; but it was no longer possible, and he could not 
keep his eyes from her face. Hardly knowing what he did, he bowed 
to her, lifted his hat, and uttered some word of greeting. 

Lily, from the moment that she had perceived his presence, had 
looked straight before her, with something almost of fierceness in her 
eyes. Both Pratt and Siph Dunn had observed her narrowly. It had 
seemed as though Crosbie had been altogether outside the ken of her 
eyes, or the notice of her ears, and yet she had seen every motion of 
his body, and had heard every word which had fallen from his lips. 
Now, when he saluted her, she turned her face full upon him, and 
bowed to him. Then she rose from her seat, and made her way, 
between Siph Dunn and Pratt, out of the circle. The blood had 
mounted to her face and suffused it all, and her whole manner was such 
that it could escape the observation of none who stood there. Even 
Mrs. Harold Smith had seen it, and had read the stoiy. As soon as 
she was on her feet, Bernard had dropped Emily's hand, and offered 
his arm to his cousin. "Lily," he had said out loud, " you had 
better let me take you away. It is a misfortune that you have been 
subjected to the insult of such a greeting." Bernard and Crosbie had 
been early friends, and Bernard had been the unfortunate means of 
bringing Crosbie and Lily together. Up to this day, Bernard had 
never had his revenge for the ill-treatment which his cousin had 
received. Some morsel of that revenge came to him now. Lily 
almost hated her cousin for what he said ; but she took his arm, and 



164 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAKSET. 

walked with him from the room. It must be acknowledged in excuse 
for Bernard Dale, and as an apology for the apparent indiscretion of 
his words, that all the circumstances of the meeting had become 
apparent to every one there. The misfortune of the encounter had 
become too plain to admit of its being hidden under any of the ordinary 
veils of society. Crosbie's salutation had been made before the eyes of 
them all, and in the midst of absolute silence, and Lily had risen with 
so queen-like a demeanour, and had moved with so stately a step, that 
it was impossible that any one concerned should pretend to ignore the 
facts of the scene that had occurred. Crosbie was still standing close 
to Mrs. Harold Smith, Mrs. Thorne had risen from her seat, and the 
words which Bernard Dale had uttered were still sounding in the ears 
of them all. " Shall I see after the carriage ? " said Siph Dunn. " Do," 
said Mrs. Thorne ; " or, stay a moment ; the carriage will of course be 
there, and we will go together. Good-morning, Mr. Pratt. I expect 
that, at any rate, you will send me your card by post." Then they all 
passed on, and Crosbie and Fowler Pratt were left among the pictures. 

" I think you will agree with me now that you had better give her 
up," said Fowler Pratt. 

" I will never give her up," said Crosbie, " till I shall hear that she 
has married some one else." 

" You may take my word for it, that she will never marry you after 
what has just now occurred." 

" Very likely not ; but still the attempt, even the idea of the attempt, 
will be a comfort to me. I shall be endeavouring to do that which I 
ought to have done." 

" What you have got to think of, I should suppose, is her comfort, 
not your own." 

Crosbie stood for a while silent, looking at a portrait which was hung 
just within the doorway of a smaller room into which they had passed, 
as though his attention were entirely riveted by the picture. But he 
was thinking of the picture not at all, and did not even know what kind 
of painting was on the canvas before him. 

" Pratt," he said at last, " you are always hard to me." 

" I will say nothing more to you on the subject, if you wish me to 
be silent." 

" I do wish you to be silent about that." 

" That shall be enough," said Pratt. 

" You do not quite understand me. You do not know how thoroughly 
I have repented of the evil that I have done, or how far I would go to 
make retribution, if retribution were possible 1 " 



A LADY PRESENTS HEE COMPLIMENTS TO MISS L. D. 165 

Fowler Pratt, having been told to hold his tongue as regarded that 
subject, made no reply to this, and began to talk about the pictures. 

Lily, leaning on her cousin's arm, was out in the courtyard in front 
of the house before Mrs. Thome or Siph Dunn. It was but for a 
minute, but still there was a minute in which Bernard felt that he ought 
to say a word to her. 

" I hope you are not angry with me, Lily, for having spoken." 

" I wish, of course, that you had not spoken ; but I am not angry. 
I have no right to be angry. I made the misfortune for myself. Do 
not say anything more about it, dear Bernard ; that is all. 

They had walked to the picture-gallery; but, by agreement, two 
carriages had come to take them away, Mrs. Thome's and Mrs. 
Harold Smith's. Mrs. Thorne easily managed to send Emily Dunstable 
and Bernard away with her friend, and to tell Siph Dunn that he must 
manage for himself. In this way it was contrived that no one but 
Mrs. Thorne should be with Lily Dale. 

"My dear," said Mrs. Thorne, "it seemed to me that you were a 
little put out, and so I thought it best to send them all away." 

" It was very kind." 

" He ought to have passed on and not to have stood an instant when 
he saw you," said Mrs. Thorne, with indignation. " There are moments 
when it is a man's duty simply to vanish, to melt into the air, or to sink 
into the ground, in which he is bound to overcome the difficulties of 
such sudden self-removal, or must ever after be accounted poor and 
mean." 

"I did not want him to vanish; if only he had not spoken 
to me." 

" He should have vanished. A man is sometimes bound in honour 
to do so, even when he himself has done nothing wrong ; when the sin 
has been all with the woman. Her femininity has still a right to expect 
that so much shall be done in its behalf. But when the sin has been 
all his own, as it was in this case, and such damning sin too, " 

" Pray do not go on, Mrs. Thome." 

" He ought to go out and hang himself simply for having allowed 
himself to be seen. I though^ Bernard behaved veiy well, and I shall 
tell him so." 

"I wish you could manage to forget it all, and say no word more 
about it." 

"I won't trouble you with it, my dear; I will promise you that. 
But, Lily, I can hardly understand you. This man who must have been 
and must ever be a brute, " 



1GG THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"Mrs. Thome, you promised me this instant that you would not 
talk of him." 

" After this I will not ; but you must let me have my way now for 
one moment. I have so often longed to speak to you, but have not done 
so from fear of offending you. Now the matter has come up by chance, 
and it was impossible that what has occurred should pass by without a 
word. I cannot conceive why the memory of that bad man should be 
allowed to destroy your whole life." 

" My life is not destroyed. My life is anything but destroyed. It 
is a very happy life." 

"But, my dear, if all that I hear is true, there is a most estimable 
young man, whom everybody likes, and particularly all your own family, 
and whom you like very much yourself; and you will have nothing to 
say to him, though his constancy is like the constancy of an old Paladin, 
and all because of this wretch who just now came in your way." 

" Mrs. Thorne, it is impossible to explain it all." 

"I do not want you to explain it all. Of course I would not ask 
any young woman to marry a man whom she did not love. Such 
marriages are abominable to me. But I think that a young woman 
ought to get married if the thing fairly comes in her way, and if her 
friends approve, and if she is fond of the man who is fond of her. It 
may be that some memory of what has gone before is allowed to stand 
in your way, and that it should not be so allowed. It sometimes 
happens that a morbid sentiment will destroy a life. Excuse me, then, 
Lily, if I say too much to you in my hope that you may not suffer after 
this fashion." 

" I know how kind you are, Mrs. Thorne." 

" Here we are at home, and perhaps you would like to go in. I 
have some calls which I must make." Then the conversation was 
ended, and Lily was alone. 

As if she had not thought of it all before ! As if there was anything 
new in this counsel which Mrs. Thorne had given her! She had 
received the same advice from her mother, from her sister, from her 
uncle, and from Lady Julia, till she was sick of it. How had it come 
to pass that matters which with others 5re so private, should with her 
have become the public property of so large a circle ? Any other girl 
would receive advice on such a subject from her mother alone, and 
there the secret would rest. But her secret had been published, as it 
were, by the town-crier in the High Street ! Everybody knew that she 
had been jilted by Adolphus Crosbie, and that it was intended that 
she should be consoled by John Eames. And people seemed to think 



A LADY PRESENTS HER COMPLIMENTS TO MISS L. D. 167 

that they had a right to rebuke her if she expressed an unwillingness 
to carry out this intention which the public had so kindly arranged 
for her. 

Morbid sentiment ! Why should she be accused of morbid senti- 
ment because she was unable to transfer her affections to the man who 
had been fixed on as her future husband by the large circle of acquaint- 
ance who had interested themselves in her affairs ? There was nothing 
morbid in either her desires or her regrets. So she assured herself, 
with something very like anger at the accusation made against her. 
She had been contented, and was contented, to live at home as her 
mother lived, asking for no excitement beyond that given by the daily 
routine of her duties. There could be nothing morbid in that. She 
would go back to Allington as soon as might be, and have done with 
this London life, which only made her wretched. This seeing of 
Crosbie had been terrible to her. She did not tell herself that his 
image had been shattered. Her idea was that all her misery had come 
from the untowardness of the meeting. But there was the fact that she 
had seen the man and heard his voice, and that the seeing him and 
hearing him had made her miserable. She certainly desired that it 
might never be her lot either to see him or to hear him again. 

And as for John Eames, in those bitter moments of her reflection 
she almost wished the same in regard to him. If he would only cease 
to be her lover, he might be very well ; but he was not very well to her 
as long as his pretensions were dinned into her ear by everybody who 
knew her. And then she told herself that John would have had a 
better chance if he had been content to plead for himself. In this, I 
think, she was hard upon her lover. He had pleaded for himself as 
well as he knew how, and as often as the occasion had been given to 
him. It had hardly been his fault that his case had been taken in hand 
by other advocates. He had given no commission to Mrs. Thome to 
plead for him. 

Poor Johnny. He had stood in much better favour before the lady 
had presented her compliments to Miss L. D. It was that odious letter, 
and the thoughts which it had forced upon Lily's mind, which were now 
most inimical to his interests. Whether Lily loved him or not, she did 
not love him well enough not to be jealous of him. Had any such 
letter re-ached her respecting Crosbie in the happy days of her young 
love, she would simply have laughed at it. It would have been nothing 
to her. But now she was sore and unhappy, and any trifle was powerful 
enough to irritate her. " Is Miss L. D. engaged to marry Mr. J. E ?" 
" No," said Lily, out loud. " Lily Dale is not engaged to marry John 



168 THE LAST CHBONICLE OF BAESET. 

Eames, and never will be so engaged." She was almost tempted to 
sit down and write the required answer to Miss M. D. Though the 
letter had been destroyed, she well remembered the number of the post- 
office in the Edgeware Eoad. Poor John Eames ! 

That evening she told Emily Dunstable that she thought she would 
like to return to Allington before the day that had been appointed for 
her. "But why," said Emily, " should you be worse than your 
word ?" 

" I daresay it will seem silly, but the fact is I am homesick. I'm 
not accustomed to be away from mamma for so long." 

" I hope it is not what occurred to-day at the picture-gallery." 

" I won't deny that it is that in part." 

" That was a strange accident, you know, that might never occur 
again." 

" It has occurred twice already, Emily." 

"I don't call the affair in the Park anything. Anybody may see 
anybody else in the Park, of course. He was not brought so near 
you that he could annoy you there. You ought certainly to wait till 
Mr. Eames has come back from Italy." 

Then Lily declared that she must and would go back to Allington 
on the next Monday, and she actually did write a letter to her mother 
that night to say that such was her intention. But on the morrow her 
heart was less sore, and the letter was not sent. 



CHAPTER LX. 



THE END OF JAEL AND SI&ERA. 

HERE was to be one more sitting 
for the picture, as the reader 
will remember, and the day for 
that sitting had arrived. Con- 
way Dalrymple had in the mean- 
time called at Mrs. Van Siever's 
house, hoping that he might be 
able to see Clara, and make 
his offer to her there. But 
he had failed in his attempt to 
reach her. He had found it 
impossible to say all that he 
had to say in the painting-room, 
during the very short intervals 
which Mrs. Broughton left to 
him. A man should be allowed 
to be alone more than fifteen 
minutes with a young lady on 
the occasion in which he offers to her his hand and his heart ; but 
hitherto he had never had more than fifteen minutes at his command ; 
and then there had been the turban ! He had also in the meantime 
called on Mrs. Broughton, with the intention of explaining to her that 
if she really intended to favour his views in respect to Miss Van Siever, 
she ought to give him a little more liberty for expressing himself. On 
this occasion he had seen his friend, but had not been able to go as 
minutely as he had wished into the matter that was so important to 
himself. Mrs. Broughton had found it necessary during this meeting 
to talk almost exclusively about herself and her own affairs. " Conway," 
she had said, directly she saw him, " I am so glad you have come. I think 
I should have gone mad if I had not seen some one who cares for me." 
This was early in the morning, not much after eleven, and Mrs. 
Broughton, hearing first his knock at the door, and then his voice, had 
met him in the hall and taken him into the dining-room. 
" Is anything the matter ? " he asked. 

II. XXIV. 8 B 




170 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

"Oh, Conway!" 

" What is it ? Has anything gone wrong with Dobbs ? " 

" Everything has gone wrong with him. He is ruined." 

" Heaven and earth ! What do you mean ? " 

" Simply what I say. But you must not speak a word of it. I do 
not know it from himself." 

" How do you know it ? " 

"Wait a moment. Sit down there, will you? and I will sit by 
you. No, Conway ; do not take my hand. It is not right. There ; 
so. Yesterday Mrs. Yan Siever was here. I need not tell you all that 
she said to me, even if I could. She was veiy harsh and cruel, saying 
all manner of things about Dobbs. How can I help it, if he drinks ? 
I have not encouraged him. And as for expensive living, I have been 
as ignorant as a child. I have never asked for anything. When we 
were married somebody told me how much we should have to spend. 
It was either two thousand, or three thousand, or four thousand, or 
something like that. You know, Conway, how ignorant I am about 
money ; that I am like a child. Is it not true ? " She waited for an 
answer and Dalrymple was obliged to acknowledge that it was true. 
And yet he had known the times in which his dear friend had been 
very sharp in her memory with reference to a few pounds. " And now 
she says that Dobbs owes her money which he cannot pay her, and 
that everything must be sold. She says that Musselboro must have the 
business, and that Dobbs must shift for himself elsewhere." 

" Do you believe that she has the power to decide that things shall 
go this way or that, as she pleases ? " 

" How am I to know ? She says so, and she says it is because he 
drinks. He does drink. That at least is true ; but how can I help 
it ? Oh, Conway, what am I to do ? Dobbs did not come home at all 
last night, but sent for his things, saying that he must stay in the 
City. What am I to do if they come and take the house, and sell the 
furniture, and turn me out into the street ? " Then the poor creature 
began to cry in earnest, and Dalrymple had to console her as best he 
might. " How I wish I had known you first," she said. To this 
Dalrymple was able to make no direct answer. He was wise enough to 
know that a direct answer might possibly lead him into terrible trouble. 
He was by no means anxious to find himself " protecting " Mrs. Dobbs 
Broughton from the ruin which her husband had brought upon her. 

Before he left her she had told him a long story, partly of matters 
of which he had known something before, and partly made up of that 
which she had heard from the old woman. It was settled, Mrs. 



THE END OP JAEL AND SISERA. 171 

Brougkton said, that Mr. Musselboro was to marry Clara Van Siever. 
But it appeared, as far as Daliymple could learn, that this was a 
settlement made simply between Mrs. Van Siever and Musselboro. 
Clara, as he thought, was not a girl likely to fall into such a settlement 
without having an opinion of her own, Musselboro was to have the 
business, and Dobbs Broughton was to be " sold up," and then look for 
employment in the City. From her husband the wife had not heard a 
word on this matter, and the above story was simply what had been 
told to NIB. Broughton by Mrs. Van Siever. " For myself it seems 
that there can be but one fate," said Mrs. Broughton. Dalryrnple, in 
his tenderest voice, asked what that one fate must be. " Never mind," 
said Mrs. Broughton. " There are some things which one cannot tell 
even to such a friend as you." He was sitting near her and had all 
but got his arm behind her waist. He was, however, able to be prudent. 
" Maria," he said, getting up on his feet, "if it should really come 
about that you should want anything, you will send to me. You will 
promise me that, at any rate ? " She rubbed a tear from her eye and 
said that she did not know. " There are moments in which a man 
must speak plainly," said Conway Dalrymple ; " in which it would be 
unmanly not to do so, however prosaic it may seem. I need hardly 
tell you that my purse shall be yours if you want it." But just at that 
moment she did not want his purse, nor must it be supposed that she 
wanted to run away with him and to leave her husband to fight the 
battle alone with Mrs. Van Siever. The truth was that she did not 
know what she wanted, over and beyond an assurance from Conway 
Daliymple that she was the most ill-used, the most interesting, and the 
most beautiful woman ever heard of, either in history or romance. Had 
he proposed to her to pack up a bundle and go off with him in a cab to 
the London, Chatham, and Dover railway station, en route for Boulogne, 
I do not for a moment think that she would have packed up her bundle. 
She would have received intense gratification from the offer, so much 
so that she would have been almost consoled for her husband's ruin ; 
but she would have scolded her lover, and would have explained to him 
the great iniquity of which he was guilty. 

It was clear to him that at this present time he could not make any 
special terms with her as to Clara Van Siever. At such a moment as 
this he could hardly ask her to keep out of the way, in order that he 
might have his opportunity. But when he suggested that probably it 
might be better, in the present emergency, to give up the idea of any 
further sitting in her room, and proposed to send for his canvas, colour- 
box, and easel, she told him that, as far as she was concerned, he was 

SB 2 



172 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

welcome to have that one other sitting for which they had all bargained. 
11 You had better come to-morrow, as we had agreed," she said; " and 
unless I shall have been turned out into the street by the creditors, you 
may have the room as you did before. And you must remember, 
Con way, that though Mrs. Yan says that Musselboro is to have Clara, it 
doesn't follow that Clara should give way." When we consider every- 
thing, we must acknowledge that this was, at any rate, good-natured. 
Then there was a tender parting, with many tears, and Conway Dal- 
rymple escaped from the house. 

He did not for a moment doubt the truth of the story which Mrs. 
Broughton had told, as far, at least, as it referred to the ruin of Dobbs 
Broughton. He had heard something of this before, and for some 
weeks had expected that a crash was coming. Broughton's rise had 
been very sudden, and Dalrymple had never regarded his friend as 
firmly placed in the commercial world. Dobbs was one of those men 
who seem born to surprise the world by a spurt of prosperity, and 
might, perhaps, have had a second spurt, or even a third, could he 
have kept himself from drinking in the morning. But Dalrymple, 
though he was hardly astonished by the story, as it regarded Broughton, 
was put out by that part of it which had reference to Musselboro. He 
had known that Musselboro had been introduced to Broughton by Mrs. 
Van Siever, but, nevertheless, he had regarded the man as being no 
more than Broughton's clerk. And now he was told that Musselboro 
was to marry Clara Van Siever, and have all Mrs. Van Siever 's money. 
He resolved, at last, that he would run his risk about the money, and 
take Clara either with or without it, if she would have him. And as 
for that difficulty in asking her, if Mrs. Broughton would give him no 
opportunity of putting the question behind her back, he would put it 
before her face. He had not much leisure for consideration on these 
points, as the next day was the day for the last sitting. 

On the following morning he found Miss Van Siever already seated 
in Mrs. Broughton's room when he reached it. And at the moment 
Mrs. Broughton was not there. As he took Clara's hand, he could not 
prevent himself from asking her whether she had heard anything ? 
" Heard what ? " said Clara. " Then you have not," said he. " Never 
mind now, as Mrs. Broughton is here." Then Mrs. Broughton had 
entered the room. She seemed to be quite cheerful, but Dalrymple 
perfectly understood, from a special glance which she gave to him, that 
he was to perceive that her cheerfulness was assumed for Clara's 
benefit. Mrs. Broughton was showing how great a heroine she could 
be on behalf of her friends. " Now, my dear," she said, " do remember 



THE END OP JAEL AND SISERA. 173 

that tliis is the last day. It may be all very well, Conway, and, of 
course, you know best ; but as far as I can see, you have not made half 
as much progress as you ought to have done." " We shall do excel- 
lently well," said Dalrymple. " So much Jhe better," said Mrs. 
Broughton ; " and now, Clara, I'll place you." And so Clara was 
placed on her knees, with the turban on her head. 

Dalrymple began his work assiduously, knowing that Mrs. Broughton 
would not leave the room for some minutes. It was certain that she 
would remain for a quarter of an hour, and it might be as well that he 
should really use that time on his picture. The peculiar position in 
which he was placed probably made his work difficult to him. There 
was something perplexing in the necessity which bound him to look 
upon the young lady before him both as Jael and as the future 
Mrs. Conway Dalrymple, knowing as he did that she was at present 
simply Clara Van Siever. A double personification was not difficult 
to him. He had encountered it with every model that had sat to 
him, and with every young lady he had attempted to win, if he had 
ever made such an attempt with one before. But the triple cha- 
racter, joined to the necessity of the double work, was distressing to 
him. " The hand a little further back, if you don't mind," he said, 
" and the wrist more turned towards me. That is just it. Lean a 
little more over him. There that will do exactly." If Mrs. Brough- 
ton did not go very quickly, he must begin to address his model 
on a totally different subject, even while she was in the act of slaying 
Sisera. 

" Have you made up your mind who is to be Sisera ? " asked 
Mrs. Broughton. 

" I think I shall put in my own face," said Dalrymple ; "if Miss 
Van Siever does not object." 

"Not in the least," said Clara, speaking without moving her face 
almost without moving her lips. 

" That will be excellent," said Mrs. Broughton. She was still 
quite cheerful, and really laughed as she spoke. "Shall you like the 
idea, Clara, of striking the nail right through his head ? " 

" Oh, yes ; as well his head as another's. I shall seem to be having 
my revenge for all the trouble he has given me." 

There was a slight pause, and then Dalryrnple spoke. " You have 
had that already, in striking me right through the heart." 

" What a very pretty speech ! Was it not, my dear ? " said 
Mi's. Broughton. And then Mrs. Broughton laughed. There was 
something slightly hysterical in her laugh which grated on Dalrymple's 



174 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

eargj something which seemed to tell him that at the present moment 
his dear friend was not going to assist him honestly in his effort. 

" Only that I should put him out, I would get up and make a 
curtsey," said Clara. No young lady could ever talk of making a 
curtsey for such a speech if she supposed it to have been made in ear- 
nestness. And Clara, no doubt, understood that a man might make 
a hundred such speeches in the presence of a third pers9n without 
any danger that they would be taken as meaning anything. All this 
Dalrymple knew, and began to think that he had better put down his 
palette and brush, and do the work which he had before him in the most 
prosaic language that he could use. He could, at any rate, succeed in 
making Clara acknowledge his intention in this way. He waited still 
for a minute or two, and it seemed to him that Mrs. Broughton had no 
intention of piling her fagots on the present occasion. It might be that 
the remembrance of her husband's ruin prevented her from sacrificing 
herself in the other direction also. 

" I am not very good at pretty speeches, but I am good at telling 
the truth," said Dalrymple. 

" Ha, ha, ha ! " laughed Mrs. Broughton, still with a touch of 
hysterical action in her throat. "Upon my word, Conway, you know 
how to praise yourself." 

" He dispraises himself most unnecessarily in denying the prettiness 
of his language," said Clara. As she spoke she hardly moved her lips, 
and Dalrymple went on painting from the model. It was clear that Miss 
Van Siever understood that the painting, and not the pretty speeches, 
was the important business on hand. 

Mrs. Broughton had now tucked her feet up on the sofa, and was 
gazing at the artist as he stood at his work. Dalrymple, remembering 
how he had offered her his purse, an offer which, in the existing crisis 
of her affairs, might mean a great deal, felt that she was ill-natured. 
Had she intended to do him a good turn, she would have gone now ; but 
there she lay, with her feet tucked up, clearly purposing to be present 
through the whole of that morning's sitting. His anger against her 
added something to his spirit, and made him determine that he would 
cany out his purpose. Suddenly, therefore, he prepared himself for 
action. 

He was in the habit of working with a Turkish cap on his head, 
and with a short apron tied round him. There was something pic- 
turesque about the cap, which might not have been incongruous with 
love-making. It is easy to suppose that Juan wore a Turkish cap 
when he sat with Haidee in Lambro's island. But we may be quite 



THE END OF JAEL AND SISEEA. 175 

sure that he did not wear an apron. Now Dalrymple had thought of 
all this, and had made up his mind to work to-day without his apron ; 
but when arranging his easel and his brushes, he had put it on from 
force of habit, and was now disgusted with himself as he remembered 
it. He put down his brush, divested his thumb of his palette, then 
took off his cap, and after that untied the apron. 

" Conway, what are going to do ?" said Mrs. Broughton. 

" I am going to ask Clara Van Siever to be my wife," said Dalrymple. 
At that moment the door was opened, and Mrs. Van Siever entered the 
room. 

Clara had not risen from her kneeling posture when Dalrymple 
began to put off his trappings. She had not seen what he was doing 
as plainly as Mrs. Broughton had done, having her attention naturally 
drawn towards her Sisera ; and, besides this, she understood that she 
was to remain as she was placed till orders to move were given to her. 
Dalrymple would occasionally step aside from his easel to look at her 
in some altered light, and on such occasions she would simply hold 
her hammef somewhat more tightly than before. When, therefore, 
Mrs. Van Siever entered the room Clara was still slaying Sisera, in spite 
of the artist's speech. The speech, indeed, and her mother both seemed 
to come to her at the same time. The old woman stood for a moment 
holding the open door in her hand. " You fool ! " she said, " what are 
you doing there, dressed up in that way like a guy ?" Then Clara got 
up from her feet and stood before her mother in Jael's dress and Jael's 
turban. Dalrymple thought that the dress and turban did not become 
her badly. Mrs. Van Siever apparently thought otherwise. " Will 
you have the goodness to tell me, miss, why you are dressed up after 
that Mad Bess of Bedlam fashion ?" 

The reader will no doubt bear in mind that Clara had other words 
of which to think besides those which were addressed to her by her 
mother. Dalrymple had asked her to be his wife in the plainest possible 
language, and she thought that the very plainness of the language became 
him well. The very taking off of his apron, almost as he said the words, 
though to himself the action had been so distressing as almost to over- 
come his purpose, had in it something to her of direct simple deter- 
mination which pleased her. When he had spoken of having had a nail 
driven by her right through his heart, she had not been in the Wast 
gratified ; but the taking off of the apron, and the putting down of the 
palette, and the downright way in which he had called her Clara 
Van Siever, attempting to be neither sentimental with Clara, nor 
polite with Miss Van Siever, did please her. She had often said to 



176 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAKSET. 

herself that she would never give a plain answer to a man who did not 
ask her a plain question ; to a man who, in asking this question, did 
not say plainly to her, " Clara Yan Siever, will you become Mrs. Jones ? " 
or Mrs. Smith, or Mrs. Tomkins, as the case might be. Now Conway 
Dalrymple had asked her to become Mrs. Dalrymple very much after 
this fashion. In spite of the apparition of her mother, all this had 
passed through her mind. Not the less, however, was she obliged to 
answer her mother, before she could give any reply to the other 
questioner. In the meantime Mrs. Dobbs Broughton had untucked 
her feet. 

" Mamma," said Clara, " who ever expected to see you here ? " 

" I daresay nobody did," said Mrs. Van Siever; " but here I am, 
nevertheless." 

"Madam," said Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, "you might at any rate 
have gone through the ceremony of having yourself announced by 
the servant." 

"Madam," said the old woman, attempting to mimic the tone of 
the other, "I thought that on such a very particular occasion as this 
I might be allowed to announce myself. You tomfool, you, why don't 
you take that turban off?" Then Clara, with slow and graceful motion, 
unwound the turban. If Dalrymple really meant what he had said, 
and would stick to it, she need not mind being called a tomfool by 
her mother. 

" Conway, I am afraid that our last sitting is disturbed," said 
Mrs. Broughton, with her little laugh. 

" Conway's last sitting certainly is disturbed," said Mrs. Yan Siever, 
and then she mimicked the laugh. "And you'll all be disturbqd, I 
can tell you that. What an ass you must be to go on with this kind of 
thing, after what I said to you yesterday ! Do you know that he got 
beastly drunk in the City last night, and that he is drunk now, while 
you are going on with your tomfooleries ?" Upon hearing this, Mrs. 
Dobbs Broughton fainted into' Dalrymple' s arms. 

Hitherto the artist had not said a word, and had hardly known what 
part it would best become him now to play. If he intended to many 
Clara, and he certainly did intend to many her if she would have 
him, it might be as well not to quarrel with Mrs. Yan Siever. At 
any rate there was nothing in Mrs. Yan Siever's intrusion, disagreeable 
as it was, which need make him take up his sword to do battle with 
her. But now, as he held Mrs. Broughton in his arms, and as the 
horrid words which the old woman had spoken rung in his ears, he 
could not refrain himself from uttering, reproach. "You ought not to 



THE END OF JAEL AND SISEEA. 177 

have told her in this way, before other people, even if it be true," 
said Conway. 

" Leave me to be my own judge of what I ought to do, if you please, 
sir. If she had any feeling at all, what I told her yesterday would 
have kept her from all this. But some people have no feeling, and 
will go on being tomfools though the house is on fire." As these words 
were spoken, Mrs. Broughton fainted more persistently than ever, so 
that Dalrymple was convinced that whether she felt or not, at any rate 
she heard. He had now dragged her across the room, and laid her 
upon the sofa, and Clara had come to her assistance. " I daresay you 
think me very hard because I speak plainly, but there are things much 
harder than plain speaking. How much do you expect to be paid, 
sir, for this picture of my girl ? " 

" I do not expect to be paid for it at all," said Dalrymple, 

" And who is it to belong to ? " 

" It belongs to me at present." 

" Then, sir, it mustn't belong to you any longer. It won't do for 
you to have a picture of my girl to hang up in your painting-room for 
all your friends to come and make their jokes about, nor yet to make a 
show of it in any of your exhibitions. My daughter has been a fool, 
and I can't help it. If you'll tell me what's the cost, I'll pay you ; then 
I'll have the picture home, and I'll treat it as it deserves." 

Dalrymple thought for a moment about his picture and about 
Mrs. Van Siever. What had he better do ? He wanted to behave 
well, and he felt that the old woman had something of justice on her 
side. " Madam," he said, " I will not sell this picture ; but it shall be 
destroyed, if you wish it." 

" I certainly do wish it, but I won't trust to you. If it's not sent 
to my house at once you'll hear from me through my lawyers." 

Then Dalrymple deliberately opened his penknife and slit the canvas 
across, through the middle of the picture each way. Clara, as she saw 
him do it, felt that in truth she loved him. " There, Mrs. Van Siever," 
he said ; " now you can take the bits home with you in your basket if 
you wish it." At this moment, as the rent canvas fell and fluttered 
upon the stretcher, there came a loud voice of lamentation from the 
sofa, a groan of despair and a shriek of wrath. "Very fine indeed," 
said Mrs. Van Siever. " When ladies faint they always ought to 
have their eyes about them. I see that Mrs. Broughton understands 
that." 

" Take her away, Conway for God's sake take her away," said 
Mrs. Broughton. 



178 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

"I shall take myself away very shortly," said Mrs. Van Siever, 
" so you needn't trouble Mr. Conway about that. Not but what I 
thought the gentleman's name was Mr. something else." 

" My name is Conway Dalrymple," said the artist. 

" Then I suppose you must be her brother, or her cousin, or 
something of that sort?" said Mrs. Yan Siever. 

" Take her away," screamed Mrs. Dobbs Broughton. 

" Wait a moment, madam. As you've chopped up your handiwork 
there, Mr. Conway Dalrymple, and as I suppose my daughter has been 
more to blame than anybody else " 

" She has not been to blame at all," said Dalrymple. 

" That's my affair, and not yours," said Mrs. Van Siever, very 
sharply. " But as you've been at all this trouble, and have now 
chopped it up, I don't mind paying you for your time and paints ; only 
I shall be glad to know how much it will come to ? " 

" There will be nothing to pay, Mrs. Van Siever." 

" How long has he been at it, Clara ? " 

" Mamma, indeed you had better not say anything about paying 
him." 

" I shall say whatever I please, miss. "Will ten pounds do it, sir ?" 

" If you choose to buy the picture, the price will be seven hundred 
and fifty," said Dalrymple, with a smile, pointing to the fragments. 

" Seven hundred and fifty pounds ? " said the old woman. 

" But I strongly advise you not to make the purchase," said 
Dalrymple. 

" Seven hundred and fifty pounds ! I certainly shall not give you 
seven hundred and fifty pounds, sir." 

" I certainly think you could invest your money better, Mrs. Van 
Siever. But if the thing is to be sold at all, that is my price. I've 
thought that there was some justice in your demand that it should be 
destroyed, and therefore I have destroyed it." 

Mrs. Van Siever had been standing on the same spot ever since she 
had entered the room, and now she turned round to leave the room. 

" If you have any demand to make, I beg that you will send in your 
account for work done to Mr. Musselboro. He is my man of business. 
Clara, are you ready to come home ? The cab is waiting at the door, 
at sixpence the quarter of an hour, if you will be pleased to remember." 

" Mrs. Broughton," said Clara, thoughtful of her raiment, and 
remembering that it might not be well that she should return home, even 
in a cab, dressed as Jael ; " if you will allow me, I will go into your 
room for a minute or two." 



THE END OF JAEL AND SISEEA. 179 

" Certainly, Clara," said Mrs. Broughton, preparing to accompany 
her. 

"But before you go, Mrs. Broughton," said Mrs. Van Siever, "it 
may be as well that I should tell you that my daughter is going 
to become the wife of Mr. Musselboro. It may simplify matters that 
you should know this." And Mrs. Van Siever, as she spoke, looked hard 
at Conway Dalrymple. 

" Mamma ! " exclaimed Clara, 

" My dear," said Mrs. Van Siever, " you had better change your dress 
and come away with me." 

" Not till I have protested against what you have said, mamma." 

" You had better leave your protesting alone, I can tell you." 

" Mrs. Broughton," continued Clara, " I must beg you to under- 
stand that mamma has not the slightest right in the world to tell you 
what she just now said about me. Nothing on earth would induce me 
to become the wife of Mr. Broughton's partner." 

There was something which made Clara unwilling even to name the 
man whom her mother had publicly proposed as her future husband. 

" He isn't Mr. Broughton's partner," said Mrs. Van Siever. " Mr. 
Broughton has not got a partner. Mr. Musselboro is the head of the 
firm. And as to your marrying him, of course, I can't make you." 

" No, mamma ; you cannot." 

" Mrs. Broughton understands that, no doubt ; and so, probably, 
does Mr. Dalrymple. I only tell them what are my ideas. If you 
choose to marry the sweep at the crossing, I can't help it. Only I don't 
see what good you would do the sweep, when he would have to sweep 
for himself and you too. At any rate, I suppose you mean to go home 
with me now ? " Then Mrs. Broughton and Clara left the room, and 
Mrs. Van Siever was left with Conway Dalrymple. " Mr. Dalrymple," 
said Mrs. Van Siever, " do not deceive yourself. What I told you just 
now will certainly come to pass." 

" It seems to me that that must depend on the young lady," said 
Dalrymple. 

"I'll tell you what certainly will not depend on the young lady," 
said Mrs. Van Siever, " and that is whether the man who marries her 
will have more with her than the clothes she stands up in. You will 
understand that argument, I suppose ? " 

" I'm not quite sure that I do," said Dalrymple. 

" Then you'd better try to understand it. Good-morning, sir. I'm 
sorry you've had to slit your picture." Then she curtseyed low, and 
walked out on to the landing-place. " Clara," she cried, " I'm waiting 



180 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

for you sixpence a quarter of an hour, remember that." In a 
minute or two Clara came out to her, and then Mrs. Van Siever and Miss 
Van Siever took their departure. 

" Oh, Conway, what am I to do ? what am I to do ? " said Mrs. 
Dobbs Broughton. Dalrymple stood perplexed for a few minutes, and 
could not tell her what she was to do. She was in such a position that 
it was very hard to tell her what to do. " Do you believe, Conway, that 
he is really ruined ? ' 

" What am I to say ? How am I to know ? " 

" I see that you believe it," said the wretched woman. 

" I cannot but believe that there is something of truth in what this 
woman says. Why else should she come here with such a story ? " 
Then there was a pause, during which Mrs. Broughton was burying her 
face on the arm of the sofa. " I'll tell you what I'll do," continued he. 
" I'll go into the City, and make inquiry. It can hardly be but what I 
shall learn the truth there." 

Then there was another pause, at the end of which Mrs. Broughton 
got up from the sofa. 

" Tell me," said she; "what do you mean to do about that 
girl ? " 

" You heard me ask her to be my wife ? " 

" I did. I did ! " 

" Is it not what you intended ? " 

"Do not ask mo. My mind is bewildered. My brain is on fire ! 
Oh, Conway! " 

" Shall I go into the City as I proposed ? " said Dalrymple, who 
felt that he might at any rate improve the position of circumstances by 
leaving the house. 

"Yes; yes; go into the City! Go anywhere. Go. But stay! 
Oh, Conway ! " There was a sudden change in her voice as she spoke. 
" Hark, there he is, as sure as life." Then Conway listened, and 
heard a footstep on the stairs, as to which he had then but little doubt 
that it was the footstep of Dobbs Broughton. " heavens ! he is 
tipsy ! " exclaimed Mrs. Broughton ; " and what shall we do ?" Then 
Dalrymple took her hand and pressed it, and left the room, so that he 
might meet the husband on the stairs. In the one moment that he 
had for reflection he thought it was better that there should be no 
concealment. 



CHAPTER LXL 

"ITS DOGGED AS DOES IT." 

IN accordance with the resolution to which the clerical commission 
had come on the first day of their sitting, Dr. Tempest wrote the 
following letter to Mr. Crawley : 

" DEAR SlR, Kectory, Silverbridge, April 9, 186 . 

" I HAVE been given to understand that you have been informed 
that the Bishop of Barchester has appointed a commission of clergymen 
of the diocese to make inquiry respecting certain accusations which, to 
the great regret of us all, have been made against you, in respect to a 
cheque for twenty pounds which was passed by you to a tradesman 
in this town. The clergymen appointed to form this commission are 
Mr. Oriel, the rector of Greshamsbury, Mr. Robarts, the vicar of 
Framley, Mr. Quiverful, the warden of Hiram's Hospital at Barchester, 
Mr. Thumble, a clergyman established in that city, and myself. We 
held our first meeting on last Monday, and I now write to you in 
compliance with a resolution to which we then came. Before taking 
any other steps we thought it best to ask you to attend us here on 
next Monday, at two o'clock, and I beg that you will accept this letter 
as an invitation to that effect. 

"We are, of course, aware that you are about to stand your trial 
at the next assizes for the offence in question. I beg you to under- 
stand that I do not express any opinion as to your guilt. But I think 
it right to point out to you that in the event of a jury finding an adverse 
verdict, the bishop might be placed in great difficulty unless he were 
fortified with the opinion of a commission formed from your fellow 
clerical labourers in the diocese. Should such adverse verdict unfor- 
tunately be given, the bishop would hardly be justified in allowing 
a clergyman placed as you then would be placed, to return to his cure 
after the expiration of such punishment as the judge might award, 
without a further decision from an ecclesiastical court. This decision 
he could only obtain by proceeding against you under the Act in 
reference to clerical offences, which empowers him as bishop of the 
diocese' to bring you before the Court of Arches, unless you would 
think well to submit yourself entirely to his judgment. You will, I 



182 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

think, understand what I mean. The judge at assizes might find it 
his duty to imprison a clergyman for a month, regarding that clergy- 
man simply as he would regard any oflier person found guilty by a 
jury and thus made subject to his judgment, and might do this for 
an offence which the ecclesiastical judge would find himself obliged 
to visit with the severer sentence of prolonged suspension, or even with 
deprivation. 

"We are, however, clearly of opinion that should the jury find 
themselves able to acquit you, no further action whatsoever should be 
taken. In such case we think that the bishop may regard your 
innocence to be fully established, and in such case we shall recommend 
his lordship to look upon the matter as altogether at an end. I can 
assure you that in such case I shall so regard it myself. 

" You will perceive that, as a consequence of this resolution, to 
which we have already come, we are not minded to make any inquiries 
ourselves into the circumstances of your alleged guilt, till the verdict of 
the jury shall be given. If you are acquitted, our course will be clear. 
But should you be convicted, we must in that case advise the bishop to 
take the proceedings to which I have alluded, or to abstain from taking 
them. We wish to ask you whether, now that our opinion has been 
conveyed to you, you will be willing to submit to the bishop's decision, 
in the event of an adverse verdict being given by the jury ; and we 
think that it will be better for us all that you should meet us here at 
the hour I have named on Monday next, the 15th instant. It is not 
our intention to make any report to the bishop until the trial shall 
be over. 

" I have the honour to be, 

" My dear sir, 

" Your very obedient servant, 

" The Rev. Josiah Crawley, MOBTIMEB TEMPEST. 

" Hogglestock." 

In the same envelope Dr. Tempest sent a short private note, in 
which he said that he should be very happy to see Mr. Crawley at half- 
past one on the Monday named, that luncheon would be ready at that 
hour, and that, as Mr. Crawley 's attendance was required on public 
grounds, he would take care that a carriage was provided for the day. 

Mr. Crawley received this letter in his wife's presence, and read it 
in silence. Mrs. Crawley saw that he paid close attention to it, and 
was sure, she felt that she was sure, that it referred in some way to 
the terrible subject of the cheque for twenty pounds. Indeed, every- 



" IT'S DOGGED AS DOES IT." 183 

thing that came into the house, almost every word spoken there, and 
every thought that came into the breasts of any of the family, had more 
or less reference to the coming trial. How could it be otherwise ? 
There was ruin coming on them all, ruin and complete disgrace 
coming on father, mother, and children ! To have been accused itself 
was very bad ; but now it seemed to be the opinion of eveiy one that 
the verdict must be against the man. Mrs. Crawley herself, who was 
perfectly sure of her husband's innocence before God, believed that the 
jury would find him guilty, and believed also that he had become 
possessed of the money in some manner that would have been dis- 
honest, had he not been so different from other people as to be entitled 
to be considered innocent where another man would have been plainly 
guilty. She was full of the cheque for twenty pounds, and of its 
results. When, therefore, he had read the letter through a second 
time, and even then had spoken no word about it, of course she could 
not refrain from questioning him. "My love," she said, " what is the 
letter?" 

ft It is on business," he answered. 

She was silent for a moment before she spoke again. " May I not 
know the business ? " 

" No," said he ; " not at present." 

"Is it from the bishop ? " 

" Have I not answered you ? Have I not given you to understand 
that, for a while at least, I would prefer to keep the contents of this 
epistle to myself? " Then he looked at her very sternly, and after- 
wards turned his eyes upon the fireplace and gazed at the fire, as 
though he were striving to read there something of his future fate. 
She did not much regard the severity of his speech. That, too, like 
the taking of the cheque itself, was to be forgiven him, because he was 
different from other men. His black mood had come upon him, and 
everything was to be forgiven him now. He was as a child when cutting 
his teeth. Let the poor wayward sufferer be ever so petulant, the 
mother simply pities and loves him, and is never angry. " I beg your 
pardon, Josiah," she said, " but I thought it would comfort you to 
speak to me about it." 

" It will not comfort me," he said. " Nothing comforts me. 
Nothing can comfort me. Jane, give me my hat and my stick." His 
daughter brought to him his hat and stick, and without another word 
he went out and left them. 

As a matter of course he turned his steps towards Hoggle End. 
When he desired to be long absent from the house, he always went 



184 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

among the brickmakers. His wife, as she stood at the window and 
watched the direction in which he went, knew that he might be away 
for hours. The tmly friends out of his own family with whom he ever 
spoke freely were some of these rough parishioners. But he was not 
thinking of the brickmakers when he started. He was simply desirous 
of again reading Dr. Tempest's letter, and of considering it, in some 
spot where no eye could see him. He walked away with long steps, 
regarding nothing, neither the ruts in the dirty lane, nor the young 
primroses which were fast showing themselves on the banks, nor the 
gathering clouds which might have told him of the coming rain. He 
went on for a couple of miles, till he had nearly reached the outskirts 
of the colony of Hoggle End, and then he sat himself down upon a 
gate. He had not been there a minute before a few slow large drops 
began to fall, but he was altogether too much wrapped up in his thoughts 
to regard the rain. What answer should he make to this letter from 
the man at Silverbridge ? 

The position of his own mind in reference to his own guilt or his 
own innocence was very singular. It was simply the truth that he did 
not know how the cheque had come to him. He did know that he had 
blundered about it most egregiously, especially when he had averred 
that this cheque for twenty pounds had been identical with a cheque for 
another sum which had been given to him by Mr. Soames. He had 
blundered since, in saying that the dean had given it to him. There 
could be no doubt as to this, for the dean had denied that he had done 
so. And he had come to think it very possible that he had indeed 
picked the cheque up, and had afterwards used it, having deposited it 
by some strange accident, not knowing then what he was doing, or 
what was the nature of the bit of paper in his hand, with the notes 
which he had accepted from the dean with so much reluctance, with 
such an agony of spirit. In all these thoughts of his own about his 
own doings, and his own position, he almost admitted to himself his 
own insanity, his inability to manage his own affairs with that degree 
of rational sequence which is taken for granted as belonging to a man 
when he is made subject to criminal laws. As he puzzled his brain in 
his efforts to create a memory as to the cheque, and .succeeded in 
bringing to his mind a recollection that he had once known something 
about the cheque, that the cheque had at one time been the subject of 
a thought and of a resolution, he admitted to himself that in accord- 
ance with all law and all reason he must be regarded as a thief. He 
had taken and used and spent that which he ought to have known was 
not his own ; which he would have known not to be his own but for 



"IT'S DOGGED AS DOES IT." 185 

some terrible incapacity with which God had afflicted him. What then 
must be the result ? His mind was clear enough about this. If the 
jury could see everything and know everything, as he would wish 
that they should do ; and if this bishop's commission, and the bishop 
himself, and the Court of Arches with its judge, could see and know 
everything ; and if so seeing and so knowing they could act with clear 
honesty and perfect wisdom, what would they do ? They would 
declare of him that he was not a thief, only because he was so muddy- 
minded, so addle-pated as not to know the difference between meum 
and tuum ! There could be no other end to it, let all the lawyers and 
all the clergymen in England put their wits to it. Though he knew 
himself to be muddy-minded and addle-pated, he could see that. And 
could any one say of such a man that he was fit to be the acting clergy- 
man of a parish, to have a freehold possession in a parish ' as curer of 
men's souls ! The bishop was in the right of it, let him be ten times as 
mean a fellow as he was. 

And yet as he sat there on the gate, while the rain came down 
heavily upon him, even when admitting the justice of the bishop, and 
the truth of the verdict which the jury would no doubt give, and the 
propriety of the action which that cold, reasonable, prosperous man at 
Silverbridge would take, he pitied himself with a tenderness of com- 
miseration which knew no bounds. As for those belonging to him, 
his wife and children, his pity for them was of a different kind. He 
would have suffered any increase of suffering, could he by such 
agony have released them. Dearly as he loved them, he would 
have severed himself from them, had it been possible. Terrible 
thoughts as to their fate had come into his mind in the worst 
moments of his moodiness, thoughts which he had had sufficient 
strength and manliness to put away from him with a strong hand, lest 
they should drive him to crime indeed ; and these had come from the 
great pity which he had felt for them. But the commiseration which he 
had felt for himself had been different from this, and had mostly visited 
him at times when that other pity was for the moment in abeyance. 
What though he had taken the cheque, and spent the money though 
it was not his ? He might be guilty before the law, but he was not 
guilty before God. There had never been a thought of theft in his 
mind, or a desire to steal in his heart. He knew that well enough. 
No jury could make him guilty of theft before God. And what though 
this mixture of guilt and innocence had come from madness, from 
madness which these courts must recognize if they chose to find him 
innocent of the crime ? In spite of his aberrations of intellect, if there 

H. xxiv. 3 o 



180 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

were any such, his ministrations in his parish were good. Had he not 
preached fervently and well, preaching the true gospel? Had he 
not heen very diligent among his people, striving with all his might 
to lessen the ignorance of the ignorant, and to gild with godliness the 
learning of the instructed ? Had he not been patient, enduring, 
instant, and in all things amenable to the laws and regulations laid 
down by the Church for his guidance in his duties as a parish clergy- 
man ? Who could point out in what he had been astray, or where 
he had gone amiss ? But for the work which he had done with so 
much zeal the Church which he served had paid him so miserable a 
pittance that, though life and soul had been kept together, the reason, 
or a fragment of the reason, had at moments escaped from his keeping 
in the scramble. Hence it was that this terrible calamity had fallen 
upon hun ! Who had been tried as he had been tried, and had gone 
through such fire with less loss of intellectual power than he had done ? 
He was still a scholar, though no brother scholar ever came near him, 
and would make Greek iambics as he walked along the lanes. His 
memory was stored with poetry, though no book ever came to his 
hands, except those shorn and tattered volumes which lay upon his 
table. Old problems in trigonometry were the pleasing relaxations of 
his mind, and complications of figures were a delight to him. There 
was not one of those prosperous clergymen around him, and who 
scorned him, whom he could not have instructed in Hebrew. It was 
always a gratification to him to remember that his old friend the dean 
was weak in his Hebrew. He, with these acquirements, with these 
fitnesses, had been thrust down to the ground, to the very granite, 
and because in that harsh heartless thrusting his intellect had for 
moments wavered as to common things, cleaving still to all its grander, 
nobler possessions, he was now to be rent in pieces and scattered to 
the winds, as being altogether vile, worthless, and worse than worthless. 
It was thus that he thought of himself, pitying himself, as he sat upon 
the gate, while the rain fell ruthlessly on his shoulders. 

He pitied himself with a commiseration that was sickly in spite of 
its truth. It was the fault of the man that ho was imbued too strongly 
with self-consciousness. He could do a great thing or two. He could 
keep up his corn-age in positions which would wash all courage out of 
most men. He could tell the truth though truth should ruin him. He 
could sacrifice all that he had to duty. He could do justice though the 
heaven should fall. But he could not forget to pay a tribute to himself 
for the greatness of his own actions ; nor, when accepting with an 
effort of meekness the small payment made by the world to him, in 



"IT'S DOGGED AS DOES IT." 187 

return for his great works, could lie forget the great payments made to 
others for small work. It was not sufficient for him to remember that 
he knew Hebrew, but he must remember also that the dean did not. 

Nevertheless, as he sat there under the rain, he made up his mind 
with a clearness that certainly had in it nothing of that muddiness of 
mind of which he had often accused himself. Indeed, the intellect of 
this man was essentially clear. It was simply his memoiy that would 
play him tricks, his memory as to things which at the moment were 
not important to him. The fact that the dean had given him money 
was very important, and he remembered it well. But the amount of 
the money, and its form, at a moment in which he had flattered him- 
self that he might have strength to leave it unused, had not been 
important to him. Now, he resolved that he would go to Dr. Tempest, 
and that he would tell Dr. Tempest that there was no occasion for any 
further inquiry. He would submit to the bishop, let the bishop's 
decision be what it might. Things were different since the day on which 
he had refused Mr. Thumble admission to his pulpit. At that time 
people believed him to be innocent, and he so believed of himself. 
Now, people believed him to be guilty, and it could not be right that a 
man held in such slight esteem should exercise the functions of a parish 
priest, let his own opinion of himself be what it might. He would 
submit himself, and go anywhere, to the galleys or the workhouse, if 
they wished it. As for his wife and children, they would, he said to 
himself, be better without him than with him. The world would never 
be so hard to a woman or to children as it had been to him. 

He was sitting saturated with rain, saturated also with thinking, 
and quite unobservant of anything around him, when he was 
accosted by an old man from Hoggle End, with whom he was well 
acquainted. " Thee be wat, Master Crawley," said the old man. 

" Wet ! " said Crawley, recalled suddenly back to the realities of 
life. " Well, yes. I am wet. That's because it's raining." 

" Thee be teeming o' wat. Hadn't thee better go whome ? " 

" And are not you wet also ? " said Mr. Crawley, looking at the old 
man, who had been at work in the brickfield, and who was soaked 
with mire, and from whom there seemed to come a steam of muddy 
mist. 

"Is it me, yer reverence ? I'm wat in course. The loikes of us 
is always wat, that is barring the insides of us. It comes to us 
natural to have the rheumatics. How is one of us to help hisself 
against having on 'em ? But there ain't no call for the loikes of you to 
have the rheumatics." 



188 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAKSET. 

" My friend," said Crawley, who was now standing on the road, 
and as he spoke he put out his arm and took the brickmaker by the 
hand, " there is a worse complaint than rheumatism, there is, 
indeed." 

" There's what they calls the collerer," said Giles Hoggett, looking 
up into Mr. Crawley's face. " That ain't a got a hold of yer ? " 

" Ay, and worse than the cholera. A man is killed all over when 
he is struck in his pride ; and yet he lives." 

" Maybe that's bad enough too," said Giles, with his hand still held 
by the other. 

"It is bad enough," said Mr. Crawley, striking his breast with his 
left hand. " It is bad enough." 

" Tell 'ee what, Master Crawley ; and yer reverence mustn't think 
as I means to be preaching ; there ain't nowt a man can't bear if he'll 
only be dogged. You go whome, Master Crawley, and think o' that, 
and maybe it'll do ye a good yet. It's dogged as does it. It ain't 
thinking about it." Then Giles Hoggett withdrew his hand from the 
clergyman's, and walked away towards his home at Hoggle End. Mr. 
Crawley also turned homewards, and as he made his way through the 
lanes, he repeated to himself Giles Hoggett's words. "It's dogged as 
does it. It's not thinking about it." 

He did not say a word to his wife on that afternoon about Dr. 
Tempest ; and she was so much taken up with his outward condition 
when he returned, as almost to have forgotten the letter. He allowed 
himself, but barely allowed himself, to be made dry, and then for the 
remainder of the day applied himself to learn the lesson which Hoggett 
had endeavoured to teach him. But the learning of it was not easy, 
and hardly became more easy when he had worked the problem out in 
his own mind, and discovered that the brickmaker' s doggedness simply 
meant self-abnegation ; that a man should force himself to endure any- 
thing that might be sent upon him, not only without outward grumbling, 
but also without grumbling inwardly. 

Early on the next morning, he told his wife that he was going into 
Silverbridge. " It is that letter, the letter which I got yesterday that 
calls me," he said. And then he handed her the letter as to which ho 
had refused to speak to her on the preceding day. 

"But this speaks of your going next Monday, Josiah," said Mrs. 
Crawley. 

"I find it to be more suitable that I should go to-day," said he. 
" Some duty I do owe in this matter, both to the bishop, and to Dr. 
Tempest, who, after a fashion, is, as regards my present business, the 



" IT'S DOGGED AS DOES IT." 189 

bishop's representative. But I do not perceive that I owe it as a duty 
to either to obey implicitly their injunctions, and I will not submit 
myself to the cross- questionings of the man Thumble. As I am purposed 
at present I shall express iny willingness to give up the parish." 

" Give up the parish altogether ?" 

" Yes, altogether." As he spoke he clasped both his hands 
together, and having held them for a moment on high, allowed them 
to fall thus clasped before him. " I cannot give it up in part ; I 
cannot abandon the duties and reserve the honorarium. Nor would 
I if I could." 

"I did not mean that, Josiah. But pray think of it before you speak. ' ' 

" I have thought of it, and I will think of it. Farewell, my dear." 
Then he came up to her and kissed her, and started on his journey on 
foot to Silverbridge. 

It was about noon when he reached Silverbridge, and he was told 
that Doctor Tempest was at home. The servant asked him for a card. 
" I have no card," said Mr. Crawley, "but I will write my name for 
your behoof if your master's hospitality will allow me paper and pencil." 
The name was written, and as Crawley waited in the drawing-room he 
spent his time in hating Dr. Tempest because the door had been opened 
by a man-servant dressed in black. Had the man been in livery he 
would have hated Dr. Tempest all the same. And he would have hated 
him a little had the door been opened even by a smart maid. 

" Your letter came to hand yesterday morning, Dr. Tempest," said 
Mr. Crawley, still standing, though the doctor had pointed to a chair 
for him after shaking hands with him ; " and having given yesterday to 
the consideration of it, with what judgment I have been able to exercise, 
I have felt it to be incumbent upon me to wait upon you without further 
delay, as by doing so I may perhaps assist your views and save labour 
to those gentlemen who are joined with you in this commission of which 
you have spoken. To some of them it may possibly be troublesome 
that they should be brought together here on next Monday." 

Dr. Tempest had been looking at him during this speech, and could 
see by his shoes and trowsers that he had walked from Hogglestock to 
Silverbridge. "Mr. Crawley, will you not sit down?" said he, and 
then he rang his bell. Mr. Crawley sat down, not on the chair indi- 
cated, but on one further removed and at the other side of the table. 
"When the servant came, the objectionable butler in black clothes that 
were so much smarter than Mr. Crawley's own, his master's orders 
were communicated without any audible word, and the man returned 
with a decanter and wine-glasses. 



190 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" After your walk, Mr. Crawley," said Dr. Tempest, getting up from 
his seat to pour out the wine. 

" None, I thank you." 

" Pray let me persuade you. I know the length of the miles so well." 

" I will take none, if you please, sir," said Mr. Crawley. 

" Now, Mr. Crawley," said Dr. Tempest, " do let me speak to you 
as a friend. You have walked eight miles, and are going to talk to 
me on a subject which is of vital importance to yourself. I won't 
discuss it unless you'll take a glass of wine and a biscuit." 

" Dr. Tempest ! " 

" I'm quite in earnest. I won't. If you do as I ask you, you 
shall talk to me till dinner-time, if you like it. There . Now you may 
begin." 

Mr. Crawley did eat the biscuit and did drink the wine, and as he 
did so, he acknowledged to himself that Dr. Tempest was right. He 
felt that the wine made him stronger to speak. " I hardly know why 
you have preferred to-day to next Monday," said Dr. Tempest ; "but 
if anything can be done by your presence here to-day, your time shall 
not be thrown away." 

"I have preferred to-day to Monday," said Crawley, "partly 
because I would sooner talk to one man than to five." 

" There is something in that, certainly," said Dr. Tempest. 

" And as I have made up my mind as to the course of action which it 
is my duty to take in the matter to which your letter of the 9th of this 
month refers, there can be no reason why I should postpone the decla- 
ration of my purpose. Dr. Tempest, I have determined to resign my 
preferment at Hogglestock, and shall write to-day to the Dean of 
Barchester, who is the patron, acquainting him of my purpose." 

" You mean in the event in the event " 

" I mean, sir, to do this without reference to any event that is 
future. The bishop, Dr. Tempest, when I shall have been proved to 
be a thief, shall have no trouble either in causing my suspension or my 
deprivation. The name and fame of a parish clergyman should bo 
unstained. Mine have become foul with infamy. I will not wait to be 
deprived by any court, by any bishop, or by any commission. I will 
bow my head to that public opinion which has reached me, and- 1 will 
deprive myself." 

He had got up from his chair, and was standing as he pronounced 
the final sentence against himself. Dr. Tempest still remained seated 
in his chair, looking at him, and for a few moments there was silence. 
" You must not do that, Mr. Crawley," Dr. Tempest said at last. 



" IT'S DOGGED AS DOES IT." 191 

" But I shall do it." 

" Then the dean must not take your resignation. Speaking to you 
frankly, I tell you that there is no prevailing opinion as to the verdict 
which the jury may give." 

" My decision has nothing to do with the jury's verdict. My 
decision " 

" Stop a moment, Mr. Crawiey. It is possible that you might say 
that which should not be said." 

" There is nothing to be said, nothing which I could say, which 
I would not say at the town cross if it were possible. As to this money, 
I do not know whether I stole it or whether I did not." 

" That is just what I have thought." 

" It is so." 

" Then you did not steal it. There can be no doubt about that." 

" Thank you, Dr. Tempest. I thank you heartily for saying so 
much. But, sir, you are not the jury. Nor, if you were, could you 
whitewash me from the infamy which has been cast on me. Against 
the opinion expressed at the beginning of these proceedings by the 
bishop of the diocese, or rather against that expressed by his wife, 
I did venture to make a stand. Neither the opinion which came from 
the palace, nor the vehicle by which it was expressed, commanded my 
respect. Since that, others have spoken to whom I feel myself bound 
to yield ; yourself not the least among them, Dr. Tempest ; and to 
them I shall yield. You may tell the Bishop of Barchester that I shall 
at once resign the perpetual curacy of Hogglestock into the hands of 
the Dean of Barchester, by whom I was appointed." 

" No, Mr. Crawiey ; I shall not do that. I cannot control you, but 
thinking you to be wrong, I shall not make that communication to 
the bishop." 

" Then I shall do so myself." 

" And your wife, Mr. Crawiey, and your children ?" 

At that moment Mr. Crawiey called to mind the advice of his friend 
Giles Hoggett. " It's dogged as does it." He certainly wanted some- 
thing very strong to sustain him in his difficulty. He found that this 
reference to his wife and children required him to be dogged in a very 
marked manner. " I can only trust that the wind may be tempered to 
them," he said. " They will, indeed, be shorn lambs." 

Dr. Tempest got up from his chair, and took a couple of turns 
about the room before he spoke again. "Man," he said, addressing 
Mr. Crawiey with all his energy, "if you do this thing, you will 
then at least be very wicked. If the jury find a verdict in your 



192 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

favour you are safe, and the chances are that the verdict will be in 
your favour." 

" I care nothing now for the verdict," said Mr. Crawley. 

" And you will turn your wife into the poorhouse for an idea ! " 

"It's dogged as does it," said Mr. Crawley to himself. " I have 
thought of that," he said aloud. "That my wife is dear to me, and 
that my children are dear, I will not deny. She was softly nurtured, 
Dr. Tempest, and came from a house in which want was never known. 
Since she has shared my board she has had some experience of that 
nature. That I should have brought her to all this is very terrible to 
me, so terrible, that I often wonder how it is that I live. But, sir, 
you will agree with me, that my duty as a clergyman is above every- 
thing. I do not dare, even for their sake, to remain in the parish. 
Good morning, Dr. Tempest." Dr. Tempest, finding that he could 
not prevail with him, bade him adieu, feeling that any service to the 
Crawleys within his power might be best done by intercession with the 
bishop and with the dean. 

Then Mr. Crawley walked back to Hogglestock, repeating to himself 
Giles Hoggett's words, " It's dogged as does it." 



CHAPTEE LXH. 



MR. CRAWLETS LETTER TO THE DEAN. 

'R. CRAWLEY, when he got 
home after his walk to Silver- 
bridge, denied that he was at all 
tired. ' ' The man at Silverbridge, 
whom I went to see adminis- 
tered refreshment to me ; nay, 
he administered it with salutary 
violence, ' ' he said, affecting even 
to laugh. " And I am hound 
to speak well of him on behalf 
of mercies over and beyond 
that exhibited by the persistent 
tender of some wine. That 
I should find him judicious I 
had expected. What little 
I have known of him taught 
me so to think of him. But 
I found with him also a 
softness of heart for which I had not looked." 

" And you will not give up the living, Josiah ? " 
" Most certainly I will. A duty, when it is clear before a man, 
should never be made less so by any tenderness in others." He was 
still thinking of Giles Hoggett. " It's dogged as does it." The poor 
woman could not answer him. She knew well that it was vain to &rgue 
with him. She could only hope that in the event of his being acquitted 
at the trial, the dean, whose friendship she did not doubt, might 
re-endow him with the small benefice which was their only source of 
bread. 

On the following morning there came by post a short note from 
Dr. Tempest. " My dear Mr. Crawley," the note ran, "I implore you; 
if there be yet time, to do nothing rashly. And even although you 
should have written to the bishop or to the dean, your letters need 
have no effect, if you will allow me to make them inoperative. Permit 
me to say that I am a man much older than you, and one who has 
II. xxv. 8 p 




194 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

mixed much, both with clergymen and with the world at large. I tell 
you with absolute confidence, that it is not your duty in your present 
position to give up your living. Should your conduct ever be called in 
question on this matter you wall be at perfect liberty to say that you 
were guided by my advice. You should take no step till after the trial. 
Then, if the verdict be against you, you should submit to the bishop's 
judgment. If the verdict be in your favour, the bishop's interference 
will be over. 

" And you must remember that if it is not your duty as a clergy- 
man to give up your living, you can have no right, seeing that you 
have a wife and family, to throw it away as an indulgence to your pride. 
Consult any other friend you please ; Mr. Robarts, or the dean him- 
self. I am quite sure that any friend who knows as many of the 
circumstances as I know will advise you to hold the living, at any rate 
till after the trial. You can refer any such friend to me. 

" Believe me to be, yours very truly, 

" MORTIMER TEMPEST." 

Mr. Crawley walked about again with this letter in his pocket, but 
on this occasion he did not go in the direction of Hogglo End. From 
Hoggle End he could hardly hope to pick up further lessons of wisdom. 
What could any Giles Hoggett say to him beyond what he had said to 
him already ? If he were to read the doctor's letter to Hoggett, and to 
succeed in making Hoggett understand it all, Hoggett could only caution 
him to be dogged. But it .seemed to him that Hoggett and his new 
friend at Silverbridge did not agree in their doctrines, and it might be 
well that he should endeavour to find out w r hich of them had most of 
justice on his side. He was quite sure that Hoggett would advise him 
to adhere to his project of giving up the living, if only Hoggett could 
be made to understand the circumstances. 

He had written, but had not as yet sent away his letter to the dean. 

His letter to the bishop would be but a note, and he had post- 
poned the writing of that till the other should be copied and made 
complete. 

He had sat up late into the night composing and altering his letter 
to his old friend, and now that the composition was finished he was 
loth to throw it away. Early in this morning, before the postman had 
brought to him Dr. Tempest's urgent remonstrance, he had shown to 
his wife the draught of his letter to the dean. " I cannot say that it is 
not true," she had said. 

" It is certainly true," 



ME. CRAWLEY S LETTER TO THE DEAN. 195 

* ' But I wish, dear, you would not send it. Why should you take 
any step till the trial be over ? " 

" I shall assuredly send it," he had replied. " If you will peruse 
it again, you will see that the epistle would be futile were it kept till I 
shall have been proved to be a thief." 

" Oh, Josiah, such words kill me." 

" They are not pleasant, but it will be well that you should become 
used to them. As for the letter, I have taken some trouble to express 
myself with perspicuity, and I trust that I may have succeeded." At 
that time Hoggett was altogether in the ascendant; but now, as he 
started on his walk, his mind was somewhat perturbed by the contrary 
advice of one, who after all, might be as wise as Hoggett. There would 
be nothing dogged in the conduct recommended to him by Dr. Tempest. 
Were he to follow the doctor's advice, he would be trimming his sails, 
so as to catch any slant of a breeze that might be favourable to him. 
There could be no doggedness in a character that would submit to such 
trimming. 

The postman came to Hogglestock but once in a day, so that ho 
could not despatch his letter till the next morning, unless, indeed, he 
chose to send it a distance of four miles to the nearest post-office. As 
there was nothing to justify this, there was another night for the 
copying of his letter, should he at last determine to send it. He had 
declared to Dr. Tempest that he would send it. He had sworn to his 
wife that it should go. He had taken much trouble with it. He 
believed in Hoggett. But, nevertheless, this incumbency of Hogglestock 
was his all in the world. It might be that he could still hold it, and 
have bread at least for his wife to eat. Dr. Tempest had told him that 
he would be probably acquitted. Dr. Tempest knew as much of all the 
circumstances as did he himself, and had told him that he was not 
guilty. After all Dr. Tempest knew more about it than Hoggett knew. 

If he resigned the living, what would become of him, of him, 
of him and of his wife ? Whither would they first go when they 
turned their back upon 'the door inside which there had at any rate 
been shelter for them for many years ? He calculated everything that 
he had, and found that at the end of April, even when he should have 
received his rent-charge, there would not be five pounds in hand among 
them. As for his furniture, he still owed enough to make it impossible 
that he should get anything out of that. And these thoughts all had 
reference to his position if he should be acquitted. What would become 
of his wife if he should be convicted ? And as for himself, whither 
should he go when he came out of prison ? 

3 D 2 



196 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

He had completely realized the idea that Hoggett' s counsel was 
opposed to that given to him by Dr. Tempest ; but then it might 
certainly be the case that Hoggett had not known all the facts. A man 
should, no doubt, be dogged when the evils of life are insuperable ; but 
need he be so when the evils can be overcome ? Would not Hoggett 
himself undergo any treatment which he believed to be specific for 
rheumatism ? Yes ; Hoggett would undergo any treatment that was 
not in itself opposed to his duty. The best treatment for rheumatism 
might be to stay away from the brick-field on a rainy day ; but if so, 
there would be no money to keep the pot boiling, and Hoggett would 
certainly go to the brick-field, rheumatism and all, as long as his limbs 
would cany him there. Yes ; he would send his letter. It was his 
duty, and he would do it. Men looked askance at him, and pointed at 
him as a thief. He would send the letter, in spite of Dr. Tempest. 
Let justice be done, though the heaven may fall. 

He had heard of Lady Luf ton's offer to his wife. The offers of the 
Lady Luftons of the world had been sorely distressing to his spirit, 
since it had first come to pass that such offers had reached him in con- 
sequence of his poverty. But now there was something almost of relief 
to him in the thought that the Lady Luftons would, after some fashion, 
save his wife and children from starvation ; would save his wife from 
the poorhouse, and enable his children to have a start in the world. 
For one of his children a brilliant marriage might be provided, if only 
he himself were out of the way. How could he take himself out of the 
way ? It had been whispered to him that he might be imprisoned for 
two months, or for two years. "Would it not be a grand thing if the 
judge would condemn him to be imprisoned for life ? Was there ever 
a man whose existence was so purposeless, so useless, so deleterious, 
as his own ? And yet he knew Hebrew well, whereas the dean knew 
but very little Hebrew. He could make Greek iambics, and doubted 
whether the bishop knew the difference between an iambus and a trochee. 
He could disport himself with trigonometry, feeling confident that 
Dr. Tempest had forgotten his way over the asses' bridge. He knew 
" Lycidas " by heart ; and as for Thumble, he felt quite sure that 
Thumble was incompetent of understanding a single allusion in that 
divine poem. Nevertheless, though all this wealth of acquirement was 
his, it would be better for himself, better for those who belonged to 
him, better for the world at large, that he should be put an end to. 
A sentence of penal servitude for life, without any 'trial, would be of 
all things the most desirable. Then there would be ample room for 
the practice of that virtue which Hoggett had taught him. 



MR. CRAWLEY'S LETTER TO THE DEAN. 197 

Wlien he returned home the Hoggethan doctrine prevailed, and he 
prepared to copy his letter. But before he commenced his task, he sat 
down with his youngest daughter, and read, or made her read to him, 
a passage out of a Greek poem, in which are described the troubles 
and agonies of a blind giant. No giant would have been more powerful, 
only that he was blind, and could not see to avenge himself on those 
who had injured him. " The same story is always coming up," he 
said, stopping the girl in her reading. " We have it in various versions, 
because it is so true to life. 

Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him 
Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves. 

It is the same story. Great power reduced to impotence, great glory 
to misery, by the hand of Fate, Necessity, as the Greeks called her ; 
the goddess that will not be shunned ! At the mill with slaves ! 
People, when they read it, do not appreciate the horror of the picture. 
Go on, my dear. It may be a question whether Polyphemus had mind 
enough to suffer ; but, from the description of his power, I should 
think that he had. < At the mill with slaves ! ' Can any picture be 
more dreadful than that ? Go on, my dear. Of course you remember 
Milton's Samson Agonistes. Agonistes indeed ! " His wife was 
sitting stitching at the other side of the room ; but she heard his 
words, heard and understood them ; and before Jane could again get 
herself into the swing of the Greek verse, she was over at her husband's 
side, with her arms round his neck. " My love! " she said. "My 
love ! " 

He turned to her, and smiled as he spoke to her. " These are old 
thoughts with me. Polyphemus and Belisarius, and Samson and 
Milton, have always been pets of mine. The mind of the strong blind 
creature must be so sensible of the injury that has been done to him ! 
The impotency, combined with his strength, or rather the impotency 
with the memory of former strength and former aspirations, is so 
essentially tragic ! " 

She looked into his eyes as he spoke, and there was something of 
the flash of old days, when the world was young to them, and when he 
would tell her of his hopes, and repeat to her long passages of" poetry, 
and would criticize for her advantage the works of old writers. " Thank 
God," she said, " that you are not blind. It may yet be all right 
with you." 

" Yes, it may be," he said. 

" And you shall not be at the mill with slaves." 

" Or, at any rate, not eyeless in Gaza, if the Lord is good to me. 



198 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAIiSET. 

Come, Jane, we will go on." Then he took up the passage himself, 
and read it on with clear, sonorous voice, every now and then explain- 
ing some passage or expressing his own ideas upon it, as though he 
were really happy with his poetry. 

It was late in the evening before he got out his small stock of best 
letter-paper, and sat down to work at his letter. He first addressed 
himself to the bishop ; and what he wrote to the bishop was as 
follows : 

" MY LORD BlSHOP, " Hogglestock Parsonage, April llth, 186. 

' ' I HAVE been in communication with Dr. Tempest, of Silver- 
bridge, from whom I have learned that your lordship has been pleased 
to appoint a commission of inquiry, of which commission he is the 
chairman, with reference to the proceedings which it may be necessary 
that you should take, as bishop of this diocese, after my forthcoming 
trial at the approaching Barchester assizes. My lord, I think it right 
to inform you, partly with a view to the comfort of the gentlemen 
named on that commission, and partly with the purport of giving you 
that information which I think that a bishop should possess in regard 
to the clerical affairs of his own diocese, that I have by this post 
resigned my preferment at Hogglestock into the hands of the Dean of 
Barchester, by whom it was given to me. In these circumstances, it 
will, I suppose, be unnecessary for you to continue the commission 
which you have set in force ; but as to that, your lordship will, of 
course, be the only judge. 

" I have the honour to be, my Lord Bishop, 

" Your most obedient and very humble servant, 

" JOSIAH CRAWLEY, 
" Perpetual Curate of Hogglestock 
" The Right Reverend 

" The Bishop of Barchester, 
" &c. &c. &c. 
" The Palace, Barchester." 

But the letter which was of real importance, which was intended 
to say something, was that to the dean, and that also shall be given 
to the reader. Mr. Crawley had been for a while in doubt how he 
should address his old friend in commencing this letter, understanding 
that its tone throughout must, in a great degree, be made conformable 
with its first words. He would fain, in his pride, have begun " Sir." 
The question was between that and " My dear Arabin." It had once 



MR. ClUWLEi'S LETTER TO THE DEAN. 199 

between them always been " Dear Frank " and " Dear Joe ; " but the 
occasions for " Dear Frank " and " Dear Joe " between them had long 
been past. Crawley would have been very angry had he now been 
called Joe by the dean, and would have bitten his tongue out before he 
would have called the dean Frank. His better nature, however, now 
prevailed, and he began his letter, and completed it as follows : 

" MY DEAR AKABIN, 

" CIRCUMSTANCES, of which you have probably heard some- 
thing, compel me to write to you, as I fear, at some length. I am 
sorry that the trouble of such a letter should be forced upon you during 
your holidays;" Mr. Crawley, as he wrote this, did not forget to 
remind himself that he never had any holidays ; " but I think you 
will admit, if you will bear with me to the end, that I have no 
alternative. 

" I have been accused of stealing a cheque for twenty pounds, 
which cheque was drawn by my Lord Lufton on his London bankers, 
and was lost out of his pocket by Mr. Soames, his lordship's agent, and 
was so lost, as Mir. Soames states, not with an absolute assertion, 
during a visit which he made to my parsonage here at Hogglestock. 
Of the fact that I paid the cheque to a tradesman in Silverbridge there 
is no doubt. Yv r hen questioned about it, I first gave an answer which 
was so manifestly incorrect that it has seemed odd to me that I should 
not have had credit for a mistake from those who must have seen that 
detection was so evident. The blunder was undoubtedly stupid, and it 
now bears heavy on me. I then, as I have learned, made another 
error, of which I am aware that you have been informed. I said that 
the cheque had come to me from you, and in saying so, I thought that 
it had formed a portion of that alms which your open-handed benevo- 
lence bestowed upon me when I attended on you, not long before your 
departure, in your library. I have striven to remember the facts. It 
may be, nay, it probably is the case, that such struggles to catch 
some accurate glimpse of bygone things do not trouble you. Your 
mind is, no doubt, clearer and stronger than mine, having been kept to 
its proper tune by greater and fitter work. With me, memory is all 
but gone, and the power of thinking is on the wane ! I struggled to 
remember, and I thought that the cheque had been in the envelope 
which you handed to me, and I said so. I have since learned, from 
tidings received, as I am told, direct from yourself, that I was as wrong 
in the second statement as I had been in the first. The double blunder 
has, of course, been very heavy on me. 



200 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

" I was taken before the magistrates at Silverbridge, and was by 
them committed to stand my trial at the assizes to be holden in 
Barchester on the 28th of this month. Without doubt, the magistrates 
had no alternative but to commit me, and I am indebted to them that 
they have allowed me my present liberty upon bail. That my suffer- 
ings in all this should have been grievous, you will understand. But 
on that head I should not touch, were it not that I am bound to explain 
to you that my troubles in reference to this parish of Hogglestock, 
to which I was appointed by you, have not been the slightest of those 
sufferings. I felt at first, believing then that the world around me 
would think it unlikely that such a one as I had wilfully stolen a sum 
of money, that it was my duty to maintain myself in my church. I did 
so maintain myself against an attack made upon me by the bishop, who 
sent over to Hogglestock one Mr. Thumble, a gentleman doubtless in 
holy orders, though I know nothing and can learn nothing of the place 
of his cure, to dispossess me of my pulpit and to remove me from my 
ministrations among my people. To Mr. Thumble I turned a deaf ear, 
and would not let him so much as open his mouth inside the porch of 
my church. Up to this time I myself have read the services, and have 
preached to the people, and have continued, as best I could, my visits 
to the poor and my labours in the school> though I know, no one 
knows as well, how unfitted I am for such work by the grief which 
has fallen upon me. 

" Then the bishop sent for me, and I thought it becoming on my 
part to go to him. I presented myself .to his lordship at his palace, 
and was minded to be much governed in my conduct by what he might 
say to me, remembering that I am bound to respect the office, even 
though I may not approve the man ; and I humbled myself before his 
lordship, waiting patiently for any directions which he in his discretion 
might think it proper to bestow on me. But there arose up between 
us that very pestilent woman, his wife, to his dismay, seemingly, as 
much as to mine, and she would let there be place for no speech but 
her own. If there be aught clear to me in ecclesiastical matters, it is 
this, that no authority can be delegated to a female. The special laws 
of this and of some other countries do allow that women shall sit upon 
the temporal thrones of the earth, but on the lowest step of the throne 
of the Church no woman has been allowed to sit as bearing authority, 
the romantic tale of the woman Pope notwithstanding. Thereupon, I 
left the palace in wrath, feeling myself aggrieved that a woman should 
have attempted to dictate to me, and finding it hopeless to get a clear 
instruction from his lordship, the woman taking up the word whenever 



MB. CEAWLEY'S LETTER TO THE DEAN. 201 

I put a question to my lord the bishop. Nothing, therefore, came of 
that interview but fruitless labour to myself, and anger, of which I have 
since been ashamed. 

"Since that time I have continued in my parish, working, not 
without zeal, though in truth, almost without hope, and learning even 
from day to day that the opinions of men around me have declared me 
to be guilty of the crime imputed to me. And now the bishop has 
issued a commission as preparatory to proceeding against me under the 
Act for the punishment of clerical offences. In doing this, I cannot say 
that the bishop has been ill-advised, even though the advice may have 
come from that evil-tongued lady, his wife. And I hold that a woman 
may be called on for advice, with most salutary effect, in affairs as to 
which any show of female authority would be equally false and pernicious. 
With me it has ever been so, and I have had a counsellor by me as 
wise as she has been devoted." It must be noticed that in the draught 
copy of his letter which Mr. Crawley gave to his wife to read this last 
sentence was not inserted. Intending that she should read his letter, 
he omitted it till he made the fair copy. " Over this commission his 
lordship has appointed Dr. Tempest of Silverbridge to preside, and 
with him I have been in communication. I trust that the labours of the 
gentlemen of whom it is composed may be brought to a speedy close ; 
and, having regard to their trouble, which in such a matter is, I fear, 
left without remuneration, I have informed Dr. Tempest that I should 
write this letter to you with the intent and assured purpose of resigning 
the perpetual curacy of Hoggle^tock into your hands. 

" You will be good enough, therefore, to understand that I do so 
resign the living, and that I shall continue to administer the services of 
the church only till some clergyman, certified to me as coming from 
you or from the bishop, may present himself in the parish, and shall 
declare himself prepared to undertake the cure. Should it be so that 
Mr. Thumble be sent hither again, I will sit under him, endeavouring 
to catch improvement from his teaching, and striving to overcome the 
contempt which I "felt for him when he before visited this parish. I 
annex beneath my signature a copy of the letter which I have written 
to the bishop on this subject. 

" And now it behoves me, "as the guardianship of the souls of those 
around me was placed in my hands by you, to explain to you as shortly 
as may be possible the reasons which have induced me to abandon my 
work. One or two whose judgment I do not discredit, and I am 
allowed to name Dr. Tempest of Silverbridge as one, have suggested 
to me that I should take no step myself till after my trial. They think 



202 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BARSET. 

that I should have regard to the chance of the verdict, so that the 
preferment may still be mine should I be acquitted ; and they say, 
that should I be acquitted, the bishop's action against me must of 
necessity cease. That they are right in these facts I do not doubt; but 
in giving such advice they look only to facts, having no regard to the 
conscience. I do not blame them. I should give such advice myself, 
knowing that a Mend may give counsel as to outer things, but that a 
man must satisfy his inner conscience by his own perceptions of what 
is right and what is wrong. 

" I find myself to be ill-spoken of, to be regarded with hard eyes by 
those around ine, my people thinking that I have stolen this money. 
Two farmers in this parish have, as I am aware, expressed opinions 
that no jury could acquit me honestly, and neither of these men have 
appeared in my church since the expression of that opinion. I doubt 
whether they have gone to other churches ; and if not they have been 
deterred from all public worship by my presence. If this be so, how 
can I with a clear conscience remain among these men ? Shall I take 
from their hands wages for those administrations, which their deliberately 
formed opinions will not allow them to accept from my hands ? " And 
yet, though he thus pleaded against himself, he knew that the two men ol 
whom he was speaking were thick-headed dolts who were always tipsy on 
Saturday nights, and who came to church perhaps once in three weeks. 

"Your kind heart will doubtless prompt you to tell me that no 
clergyman could be safe in his parish if he were to allow the opinion of 
chance parishioners to prevail against firm ; and you would probably 
lay down for my guidance that grand old doctrine, ' Nil conscire sibi, 
nulla pallescere culpa.' Presuming that you may do so, I will acknow- 
ledge such guidance to be good. If my mind were clear in this matter, 
I would not budge an inch for any farmer, no, nor for any bishop, 
further than he might by law compel me ! But my mind is not clear. 
I do grow pale, and my hair stands on end with horror, as I confess to 
myself that I do not know whether I stole this money or no ! Such is 
the fact. In all sincerity I tell you that I know not whether I be 
guilty or innocent. It may be that I picked up the cheque from the 
floor of my room, and afterwards took it out and- used it, not knowing 
whence it had come to me. If it be so, I stole it, and am guilty before 
the laws of my country. If it be so, I am not fit to administer the 
Lord's sacraments to these people. When the cup was last in my hand 
and I was blessing them, I felt that I was not fit, and I almost dropped 
the chalice. That God will know my weakness and pardon mo the 
perplexity of my niiad, that is between Him and His creature. 



MR. CRAWLETS LETTEE TO THE DEAN. 203 

" As I read my letter over to myself I feel how weak are ray words, 
and how inefficient to explain to you the exact position in which I stand ; 
but they will suffice to convince you that I am assuredly purposed to 
resign this parish of Hogglestock, and that it is therefore incumbent on 
you, as patron of the living, to nominate my successor to the benefice. 
I have only further to ask your pardon for this long letter, and to thank 
you again for the many and great marks of friendship which you have 
conferred on me. Alas, could you have foreseen in those old days how 
barren of all good would have been the life of 'him you then esteemed, 
you might perhaps have escaped the disgrace of being called the friend 
of one whom no one now regards with esteem. 

" Nevertheless, I may still say that I am, 

" With all affection, yours truly, 

"JosiAH CRAWLEY." 

The last paragraph of the letter was also added since his wife had 
read it. When he had first composed his letter, he had been somewhat 
proud of his words, thinking that he had clearly told his story. But 
when, sitting alone at his desk, he read it again, filling his mind as he 
went on with ideas which he would fain have expressed to his old friend, 
were it not that he feared to indulge himself with too many words, he 
began to tell himself that his story was anything but well told. There 
was no expression there of the Hoggethan doctrine. In answer to such 
a letter as that the dean might well say, " Think again of it. Try yet 
to save yourself. Never mind the two farmers, or Mr. Thunable, or the 
bishop. Stick to the ship while there is a plank above the water." 
Whereas it had been his desire to use words that should make the dean 
clearly understand that the thing was decided. He had failed, as he 
had failed in everything throughout his life ; but nevertheless the letter 
must go. Were he to begin again he would not do it better. So he 
added to what he had written a copy of his note to the bishop, and the 
letter was fastened and sent. 

Mrs. Crawley might probably have been more instant in her efforts 
to stop the letter, had she not felt that it would not decide everything. 
In the first place it was not improbable that the letter might not reach 
the dean till after his return home, and Mrs. Crawley had long since 
made up her mind that she would see the dean as soon as possible 
after his return. She had heard from Lady Lufton that it was not 
doubted in Barchester that he would be back at any rate before the 
judges came into the city. And then, in the next place, was it probable 
that the dean would act upon such a letter by filling up the vacancy, 



204 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

even if he did get it ? She trusted in the dean, and knew that he would 
help them, if any help were possible. Should the verdict go against 
her husband, then indeed it might be that no help would be possible. 
In such case she thought that the bishop with his commission might 
prevail. But she still believed that the verdict would be favourable, 
if not with an assured belief, still with a hope that was sufficient to 
stand in lieu of a belief. No single man, let alone no twelve men, 
could think that her husband had intended to appropriate that money 
dishonestly. That he had taken it improperly, without real possession, 
she herself believed ; but he had not taken it as a thief, and could not 
merit a thief s punishment. 

After two days he got a reply from the bishop's chaplain, in which 
the chaplain expressed the bishop's commendation of Mr. Crawley's 
present conduct. "Mr. Thumble shall proceed from hence to Hoggle- 
stock on next Sunday," said the chaplain, " and shall relieve you for 
the present from the burden of your duties. As to the future status of 
the parish, it will perhaps be best that nothing shall be done till the 
dean returns, or perhaps till the assizes shall be over. This is the 
bishop's opinion." It need hardly be explained that the promised visit 
of Mr. Thumble to Hogglestock was gall and wormwood to Mr. Crawley. 
He had told the dean that should Mr. Thumble come, he would 
endeavour to learn something even from him. But it may be doubted 
whether Mr. Crawley in his present mood could learn anything useful 
from Mr. Thumble. Giles Hoggett was a much more effective teacher. 

" I will endure even that," he said to his wife, as she handed to 
him back the letter from the bishop's chaplain. 



CHAPTER LXIH. 
TWO VISITORS TO HOGGLESTOCK. 

THE cross-grainedness of men is so great that things will often be forced 
to go wrong, even when they have the strongest possible natural 
tendency of their own to go right. It was so now in these affairs 
between the archdeacon and his son. The original difficulty was solved 
by the good feeling of the young lady, by that and by the real kind- 
ness of the archdeacon's nature. They had come to terms which were 
satisfactory to both of them, and those terms admitted of perfect 
reconciliation between the father and his son. Whether the major 
did many the lady or whether he did not, his allowance was to be 
continued to him, the archdeacon being perfectly willing to trust him- 
self in the matter to the pledge which he had received from Miss 
Crawley. All that he required from his son was simply this, that 
he should pull down the bills advertising the sale of his effects. Was 
any desire ever more rational ? The sale had been advertised for a day 
just one week in advance of the assizes, and the time must have been 
selected, so thought the archdeacon, witTi a malicious intention. 
Why, at any rate, should the things be sold before any one knew 
whether the father of the young lady was or was not to be regarded as 
a thief ? And why should the things be sold at all, when the arch- 
deacon had tacitly withdrawn his threats, when he had given his son 
to understand that the allowance would still be paid quarterly with the 
customary archidiaconal regularity, and that no alteration was intended 
in those settlements under which the Plumstead foxes would, in the 
ripeness of time, become the property of the major himself. It was 
thus that the archdeacon looked at it, and as he did so, he thought that 
his son was the most cross-grained of men. 

But the major had his own way of looking at the matter. He had, 
he flattered himself, dealt very fairly with his father. When he had 
first made up his mind to make Miss Crawley his wife, he had told his 
father of his intention. The archdeacon had declared that, if he did 
so, such and such results would follow, results which, as was apparent 
to every one, would make it indispensable that the major should leave 
Cosby Lodge. The major had never complained. So he told himself. 
He had simply said to his father, " I shall do as I have said. You 



208 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

can do as you have said. Therefore, I shall prepare to leave Cosby 
Lodge." He had so prepared ; and as a part of that preparation, the 
auctioneer's hills had been stuck up on the posts and -walls. Then the 
archdeacon had gone to work surreptitiously with the lady, the reader 
will understand that we are still following the workings of the major's 
mind, and having succeeded in obtaining a pledge which he had been 
wrong to demand, came forward very graciously to withdraw his threats. 
He withdrew his threats because he had succeeded in his object by 
other means. The major knew nothing of the kiss that had been given, 
of the two tears that had trickled down his father's nose, of the generous 
epithets which the archdeacon had applied to Grace. He did not guess 
how nearly his father had yielded altogether beneath the pressure of 
Grace's ^charms, how willing he was to yield altogether at the first 
decent opportunity. His father had obtained a pledge from Grace that 
she would not marry in certain circumstances, as to which circum- 
stances the major was strongly resolved that they should form no bar 
to his marriage, and .then came forward with his eager demand that 
the sale should be stopped ! The major could not submit to so much 
indignity. He had resolved that his father should have nothing to do 
with his marriage one way or the other. He would not accept anything 
from his father on the understanding that his father had any such right. 
His father had asserted such right with threats, and he, the major, 
taking such threats as meaning something, had seen that he must leave 
Cosby Lodge. Let his father come forward, and say that they meant 
nothing, that he abandoned all right to any interference as to his son's 
marriage, and then the son would [dutifully consent to accept his 
father's bounty ! They were both cross-grained, as Mrs. Grantly 
declared ; but I think that the major was the most cross-grained of 
the two. 

Something of the truth made its way into Henry Grantly 's mind as 
he drove himself home from Barchester after seeing his grandfather. 
It was not that he began to think that his father was right, but that he 
almost perceived that it might be becoming in him to forgive some fault 
in his father. He had been implored to honour his father, and he was 
willing to do so, understanding that such honour must, to a certain 
degree, imply obedience, if it could be done at no more than a moderate 
expense to his feelings. The threatened auctioneer was the cause of 
offence to his father, and he might see whether it would not be possible 
to have the sale postponed. There would, of course, be a pecuniary 
loss, and that in his diminished circumstances, he would still talk to 
himself of his diminished circumstances, might be inconvenient. But 



TWO VISITORS TO HOGGLESTOCK. 207 

so much he thought himself bound to endure on his father's behalf. 
At any rate, he would consult the auctioneer at Silverbridge. 

But he would not make any pause in the measures which he had 
proposed to himself as likely to be conducive- to his marriage. As for 
Grace's pledge, such pledges from young ladies never went for any- 
thing. It was out of the question that she should be sacrificed, even 
though her father had taken the money. And, moreover, the very gist 
of the major's generosity was to consist in his marrying her whether the 
father were guilty or innocent. He understood that perfectly, and 
understood also tjiat it was his duty to make his purpose in this respect 
known to Grace's family. He determined, therefore, that he would 
go over to Hogglestock, and see Mr. Crawley before he saw the 
auctioneer. 

Hitherto Major Grantly had never even spoken to Mr. Crawley. It 
may be remembered that the major was at the present moment one of 
the bailsmen for the due appearance of Mr. Crawley before the judge, 
and that he had been present when the magistrates sat at the inn in 
Silverbridge. He therefore knew the man's presence, but except on 
that occasion he had never even seen his intended future father-in-law. 
From the moment when he had first allowed himself to think of Grace, 
he had desired, yet almost feared, to make acquaintance with the father ; 
but had been debarred from doing so by the peculiar position in which 
Mr. Crawley was placed. He had felt that it would be impossible to 
speak to the father of his affection for the daughter without any allusion 
to the coming trial ; and he did not know how such allusion could be 
made. Thinking of this, he had at different times almost resolved not 
to call at Hogglestock till the trial should be- over. Then he would go 
there, let the result of the trial have been what it might. But it had 
now become necessary for him to go on at once. His father had preci- 
pitated matters by his appeal to Grace. He would appeal to Grace's 
father, and reach Grace through his influence. 

He drove over to Hogglestock, feeling himself to be anything but 
comfortable as he came near to the house. And when he did reach the 
spot he was somewhat disconcerted to find that another visitor was in 
the house before him. He presumed this to be the case, because 
there stood a little pony horse, an animal which did not strongly 
recommend itself to his instructed eye, attached by its rein to the 
palings. It was a poor humble-looking beast, whose knees had very 
lately become acquainted with the hard and sharp stones of a newly- 
mended highway. The blood was even now red upon the wounds. 

" He'll never be much good again," said the major to his servant. 



203 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" That tie won't sir," said the man. " But I don't think he's been 
very much good for some time back." 

"I shouldn't like to have to ride him into Silverbridge," said the 
major, descending from the gig, and instructing his servant to move the 
horse and gig about as long as he might remain within the house. Then 
he walked across the little garden and knocked at the door. The door 
was immediately opened, and in the passage he found Mr. Crawley, and 
another clergyman whom the reader will recognize as Mr. Thumble. 
Mr. Thumble had come over to make arrangements as to the Sunday 
services and the parochial work, and had been very urgent in impressing 
on Mr. Crawley that the duties were to be left entirely to himself. Hence 
had come some bitter words, in which Mr. Crawley, though no doubt 
he said the sharper things of the two, had not been able to vanquish his 
enemy so completely as he had done on former occasions. 

" There must be no interference, my dear sir, none whatever, if 
you please," Mr. Thumble had said. 

" There shall be none of which the bishop shall have reason to 
complain," Mr. Crawley had replied. 

" There must be none at all, Mr. Crawley, if you please. It is only 
on that understanding that I have consented to take the parish tempo- 
rarily into my hands. Mrs. Crawley, I hope that there may be no 
mistake about the schools. It must be exactly as though I were resid- 
ing on the spot." 

" Sir," said Mr. Crawlej*, very irate at this appeal to his wife, and 
speaking in a loud voice, ' ' do you misdoubt my word ; or do you think 
that if I were minded to be false to you, that I should be corrected hi 
my falsehood by the firmer faith of my. wife ? " 

11 1 meant nothing about falsehood, Mr. Crawley." 

" Having resigned this benefice for certain reasons of my own, with 
which I shall not trouble you, and acknowledging as I do, and have 
done in writing under my hand to the bishop, the propriety of his lord- 
ship's interference in providing for the sendees of the parish till my 
successor shall have been instituted, I shall, with what feelings of regret 
I need not say, leave you to the performance of your temporary duties." 

" That is all that I require, Mr. Crawley." 

" But it is wholly unnecessary that you should instruct me in mine." 

" The bishop especially desires " began Mr. Thumble. But Mr. 
Crawley interrupted him instantly. 

" If the bishop has directed you to give me such instruction, the 
bishop has been much in error. I will submit to receive none from him 
through you, sir. If you please, sir, let there be an end of it ; " and 



TWO VISITORS TO HOGGLESTOdK. 209 

Mr. Crawley waved his hand . I hope that the reader will conceive the 
tone of Mr. Crawley's voice, and will appreciate the aspect of his face, 
and will see the motion of his hand, as he spoke these latter words. 
Mr. Thumble felt the power of the man so sensibly that he was unable 
to carry on the contest. Though Mr. Crawley was now but a broken 
reed, and was beneath his feet, yet Mr. Thumble acknowledged to him- 
self that he could not hold his own in debate with this broken reed. 
But the words had been spoken, and the tone of the voice had died 
away, and the fire in the eyes had burned itself out before the moment 
of the major's arrival. Mi*. Thumble was now returning to his horse, 
and having enjoyed, if he did enjoy, his little triumph about the 
parish, was becoming unhappy at the future dangers that awaited him. 
Perhaps he was the more unhappy because it had been proposed to him 
by authorities at the palace that he should repeatedly ride on the same 
animal from Barchester to Hogglestock and back. Mr. Crawley was in 
the act of replying to lamentations on this subject, with his hand on the 
latch, when the major arrived " I regret to say, sir, that I cannot assist 
you by supplying any other steed." Then the major had knocked, and 
Mr. Crawley had at once opened the door. 

"You probably do not remember me, Mr. Crawley?" said the 
major. " I am Major Grantly." Mrs. Crawley, who heard these 
words inside the room, sprang up from her chair, and could hardly 
resist the temptation to rush into the passage. She too had barely seen 
Major Grantly ; and now the only bright gleam which appeared on her 
horizon depended on his constancy under circumstances which would 
have justified his inconstancy. But had he meant to be inconstant, 
surely he would never have come to Hogglestock ! 

"I remember you well, sir," said Mr. Crawley. " I am under no 
common obligation to you. You are at present one of my bailsmen." 

" There's nothing in that," said the major. 

Mr. Thumble, who had caught the name of Grantly, took off his hat, 
which he had put on his head. He had not been particular in keeping 
off his hat before Mr. Crawley. But he knew very well that Archdeacon 
Grantly was a big man in the diocese ; and though the Grantlys and 
the Proudies were opposed to each other, still it might be well to take 
off his hat before any one who had to do with the big ones of the 
diocese. " I hope your respected father is well, sir ? " said Mr. Thumble. 

" Pretty well, I thank you." The major stood close up against the 
wall of the passage, so as to allow room for Mr. Thumble to pass out. 
His business was one on which he could hardly begin to speak until the 
other visitor should have gone. Mr. Crawley was standing with the 

II. XXV. 3 E 



210 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

door wide open in his hand. He also was anxious to be rid of Mr. 
Thumble, and was perhaps not so solicitous as a brother clergyman 
should have been touching the future fate of Mr. Thumble in the 
matter of the bishop's old cob. 

" Really I don't know what to do as to getting upon him again," 
said Mr. Thumble. 

" If you will allow him to progress slowly," said Mr. Crawiey, " he 
will probably travel with the greater safety." 

" I don't know what you call slow, Mr. Crawiey. I was ever so 
much over two hours coming here from Barchester. He stumbled 
almost at every step." 

"Bid he fall while you were on him ?" asked the major. 

" Indeed he did, sir. You never saw such a thing, Major Grantly. 
Look here." Then Mr. Thumble, turning round, showed that the rear 
portion of his clothes had not escaped without injury. 

" It was well he was not going fast, or you would have come on to 
your head," said Grantly. 

" It was a mercy," said Thumble. "But, sir, as it was, I came to 
the ground with much violence. It was on Spigglewick Hill, where the 
road is covered with loose stones. I see, sir, you have a gig and horse 
here, with a servant. Perhaps, as the circumstances are so very 

peculiar, " Then Mr. Thumble stopped, and looked up into the 

major's face with imploring eyes. But the major had no tenderness 
for such sufferings. " I'm sorry to say that I am going quite the other 
w r ay," he said. "I am returning to Silverbridge." 

Mr. Thumble hesitated, and then made a renewed request. ' ' If 
you would not mind taking me to Silverbridge, I could get home from 
thence by railway ; and perhaps you would allow your servant to take 
the horse to Barchester." 

Major Grantly was for a moment dumfounded. " The request is 
most unreasonable, sir," said Mr. Crawiey. 

" That is as Major Grantly pleases to look at it," said Mr. Thumble. 

" I am sorry to say that it is quite out of my power," said the major. 

" You can surely walk, leading the beast, if you fear to mount him," 
said Mr. Crawiey. 

"I shall do as I please about that," said Mr. Thumble. "And, 
Mr. Crawiey, if you will have the kindness to leave things in the parish 
just as they are, just as they are, I will be obliged to you. It is the 
bishop's wish that you should touch nothing." Mr. Thumble was by 
this time on the step, and Mr. Crawiey instantly slammed the door. 
" The gentleman is a clergyman from Barchester," said Mr. Crawiey, 



TVv T VISITORS TO HOGGLESTOCK. 211 

modestly folding his hands upon his breast, " whom the bishop has 
sent over here to take upon himself temporarily the^ services of the 
church, and, as it appears, the duties also of the parish. I refrain from 
animadverting upon his lordship's choice." 
" And are you leaving Hogglestock ? " 

" When I have found a shelter for my wife and children I shall do 
so ; nay, peradventure, I must do so before any such shelter can be 
found. I shall proceed in that matter as I am bid. I am one who 
can regard myself as no longer possessing the privilege of free action in 
anything. But while I have a room at your service, permit me to ask 
you to enter it." Then Mr. Crawley motioned him in with his hand, 
and Major Grantly found himself in the presence of Mrs. Crawley and 
her younger daughter. 

He looked at them both for a moment, and could trace much of the 
lines of that face which he loved so well. But the troubles of life had 
almost robbed the elder lady of her beauty ; and with the younger, the 
awkward thinness of the last years of feminine childhood had not yet 
given place to the fulfilment of feminine grace. But the likeness in 
each was quite enough to make him feel that he ought to be at home in 
that room. He thought that he could love the woman as his mother, 
and the girl as his sister. He found it very difficult to begin any con- 
versation in their presence, and yet it seemed to be his duty to begin. 
Mr. Crawley had marshalled him into the room, and having done so, stood 
aside near the door. Mrs. Crawley had received him very graciously, 
and having done so, seemed to be ashamed of her own hospitality. 
Poor Jane had shrunk back into a distant corner, near the open stand- 
ing desk at which she was accustomed to read Greek to her father, and, 
of course, could not be expected to speak. If Major Grantly could have 
found himself alone with any one of the three, nay, if he could have 
been there with any two, he could have opened his budget at once ; 
but, before all the family, he felt the difficulty of his situation. 
"Mrs. Crawley," said he, "I have been most anxious to make your 
acquaintance, and I trust you will excuse the liberty I have taken in 
calling." 

" I feel grateful to you, as I am sure does also my husband." So 
much she said, and then felt angry with herself for saying so much. 
Was she not expressing her strong hope that he might stand fast by 
her child, whereby the whole Crawley family would gain so much, and 
the Grantly family lose much, in the same proportion ? 

" Sir," said Mr. Crawley, " I owe you thanks, still unexpressed, in 
that you came forward, together with Mr. Robarts of Framlev, to 



212 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 

satisfy the not unnatural requisition of the magistrates before whom I 
was called upon to appear in the early winter. I know not why any 
one should have ventured into such jeopardy on my account." 

" There was no jeopardy, Mr. Crawley. Any one in the county 
would have done it." 

" I know not that ; nor can I see that there was no jeopardy. I 
trust that I may assure you that there is no danger ; none, I mean, to 
you. The danger to myself and those belonging to me is, alas, very- 
urgent. The facts of my position are pressing close upon me. 
Methinks I suffer more from the visit of the gentleman who has just 
departed from me than from anything that has yet happened to me. 
And yet he is in his right ; he is altogether in his right." 

" No, papa ; he is not," said Jane, from her standing ground near 
the upright desk. 

"My dear," said her father, "you should be silent on such a 
subject. It is a matter hard to be understood in all its bearings, even 
by those who are most conversant with them. But as to this we need 
not trouble Major Grantly." 

After that there was silence among them, and for a while it seemed 
as though there could be no approach to the subject on which Grantly 
had come thither to express himself. Mrs. Crawley, in her despair, said 
something about the weather ; and the major, trying to draw near the 
special subject, became bold enough to remark "that he had had the 
pleasure of seeing Miss Crawley at Framley." " Mrs. Bobarts has 
been very kind," said Mrs. Crawley, "very kind indeed. You can 
understand, Major Grantly, that this must be a very sad house for any 
young person." " I don't think it is at all sad," said Jane, still 
standing in the comer by the upright desk. 

Then Major Grantly rose from his seat and walked across to the 
girl and took her hand. " You are so like your sister," said he. 
" Your sister is a great friend of mine. She has often spoken to me 
of you. I hope we shall be friends some day." But Jane could 
make no answer to this, though she had been able to vindicate the 
general character of the house while she was left in her corner by 
herself. " I wonder whether you would be angry with me," continued 
the major, "if I told you that I wanted to speak a word to your 
father and mother alone ? " To this Jane made no reply, but was out 
of the room almost before the words had reached the ears of her 
father and mother. Though she was only sixteen, and had as yet 
read nothing but Latin and Greek, unless we are to count the twelve 
books of Euclid and Wood's Algebra, ana sundry smaller exercises of 



TWO VISITORS TO IIOGGLESTOCE. 218 

the same description, she understood, as well as any one then present, 
the reason why her absence was required. 

As she closed the door the major paused for a moment, expecting, 
or perhaps hoping, that the father or the mother would say a word. 
But neither of them had a word to say. They sat silent, and as 
though conscience-stricken. Here was a rich man come, of whom 
they had heard that he might prohahly wish to wed their daughter. 
It was manifest enough to both of them that no man could marry into 
their family without subjecting himself to 'a heavy portion of that 
reproach and disgrace which was attached to them. But how was 
it possible that they should not care more for their daughter, for 
their own flesh and blood, than for the incidental welfare of this rich 
man ? As regarded the man himself they had heard everything that 
was good. Such a marriage was like the opening of paradise to their 
child. " Nil conscire sibi," said the father to himself, as he buckled 
on his armour for the fight. 

When he had waited for a moment or two the major began. 
" Mrs. Crawley," he said, addressing himself to the mother, "I do not 
quite know how far you may be aware that I, that I have for some 
time been, been acquainted with your eldest daughter." 

" I have heard from her that she is acquainted with you," said 
Mrs. Crawley, almost panting with anxiety. 

" I may as well make a clean breast of it at once," said the major, 
smiling, "^and say outright that I have come here to request your 
permission and her father's to ask her to be my wife." Then he was 
silent, and for a few moments neither Mr. nor Mrs. Crawley replied to 
him. She looked at her husband, and he gazed at the fire, and the 
smile died away from the major's face, as he watched the solemnity of 
them both. There was something almost forbidding in the peculiar 
gravity of Mr. Crawley's countenance when, as at present, something 
operated within him to cause him to express dissent from any proposi- 
tion that was made to him. "I do not know how far this may be 
altogether new to you, Mrs. Crawley," said the major, waiting for a 
reply. 

" It is not new to us," said Mrs. Crawley. 

" May I hope, then, that you will not disapprove ?" 

" Sir," said Mr. Crawley, " I am so placed by the untoward circum- 
stances of my life that I can hardly claim to exercise over my own 
daughter that authority which should belong to a parent." 

" My dear, do not say that," exclaimed Mrs. Crawley. 

" But I do say it. Within three weeks of this time I may be a 



214 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF 13ARSET. 

prisoner, subject to the criminal laws of my country. At this moment 
I am without the power of earning bread for myself, or for my wife, or for 
my children. Major Grantly, you have even now seen the departure 
of the gentleman who has been sent here to take my place in this parish. 
I am, as it were, an outlaw here, and entitled neither to obedience nor 
respect from those who under other circumstances would be bound to 
give me both." 

"Major Grantly," said the poor woman, "no husband or father 
in the county is more closely obeyed or more thoroughly respected 
and loved." 

" I am sure of it," said the major. 

"All this, however, matters nothing," continued Mr. Crawley, 
" and all speech on such homely matters would amount to an imper- 
tinence before you, sir, were it not that you have hinted at a purpose 
of connecting yourself at some future time with this unfortunate 
family." 

" I meant to be plain-spoken, Mr. Crawley." 

"I did not mean to insinuate, sir, that there was aught of reticence 
in your words, so contrived that you might fall back upon the vague- 
ness of your expression for protection, should you hereafter see fit to 
change your purpose. I should have wronged you much by such a 
suggestion. I rather was minded to make known to you that I, or, 
I should rather say, we," and Mr. Crawley pointed to his wife, 
" shall not accept your plainness of speech as betokening aught beyond 
a conceived idea in furtherance of which you have thought it expedient 
to make certain inquiries." 

"I don't quite follow you," said the major. "But what I want 
you to do is to give me your consent to visit your daughter ; and I 
want Mrs. Crawley to write to Grace and tell her that it's all right." 
Mrs. Crawley was quite sure that it was all right, and was ready to sit 
down and write the letter that moment, if her husband would permit 
her to do so. 

" I am sorry that I have not been explicit," said Mr. Crawley, 
"but I will endeavour to make myself more plainly intelligible. My 
daughter, sir, is so circumstanced in reference to her father, that I, as 
her father and as a gentleman, cannot encourage any man to make a 
tender to her of his hand." 

" But I have made up my mind about all that." 

" And I, sir, have made up mine. I dare not tell my girl that I 
think she will do well to place her hand in yours. A lady, when she 
does that, should feel at least that her hand is clean." 



TWO VISITORS TO HOGGLESTOCK. 215 

" It is the cleanest and the sweetest and the fairest hand in Barset- 
shire," said the major. Mrs. Crawley could not restrain herself, but 
running up to him, took his hand in hers and kissed it. 

" There is unfortunately a stain, which is vicarial," began Mr. 
Crawley, sustaining up to that point his voice with Roman fortitude, 
with a fortitude which would have been Roman had it not at that 
moment broken down under the pressure of human feeling. He could 
keep it up no longer, but continued his speech with broken sobs, and 
with a voice altogether changed in its tone, rapid now, whereas it had 
before been slow, natural, whereas it had hitherto been affected, 
human, whereas it had hitherto been Roman. " Major Grantly," he 
said, "I am sore beset; but what can I say to you ? My darling is 
as pure as the light of day, only that she is soiled with my impurity. 
She is fit to grace the house of the best gentleman in England, had I 
not made her unfit." 

" She shall grace mine," said the major. " By God, she shall! 
to-morrow, if she'll have me." Mrs. Crawley, who was standing beside 
him, again raised his hand and kissed it. 

" It may not be so. As I began by saying, or rather strove to 
say, for I have been overtaken by weakness, and cannot speak my 
mind, I cannot claim authority over my child as would another man. 
How can I exercise authority from between a prison's bars ?" 

" She would obey your slightest wish," said Mrs. Crawley. 

" I could express no wish," said he. "But I know my girl, and I 
am sure that she will not consent to take infamy with her into the house 
of the man who loves her." 

" There will be no infamy," said the major. " Infamy ! I tell 
you that I shall be proud of the connexion." 

" You, sir, are generous in your prosperity. We will strive to be 
at least just in our adversity. My wife and children are to be pitied, 
because of the husband and the father." 

"No!" said Mrs. Crawley. "I will not hear that said without 
denying it." 

" But they musi take their lot as it has been given to them," con- 
tinued he. " Such a position in life as that which you have proposed 
to bestow upon my child would be to her, as regards human affairs, 
great elevation. And from what I have heard, I may be permitted to 
add also from what I now learn by personal experience, such a marriage 
would be laden with fair promise of future happiness. But if you ask 
my mind, I think that my child is not free to make it. You, sir, have 
many relatives, who are not in love, as you are, all of whom would be 



216 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

affected by the stain of niy disgrace. You have a daughter, to whom 
all your solicitude is due. No one should go to your house as your 
second wife who cannot feel that she will serve your child. My 
daughter would feel that she was bringing an injury upon the babe. 
I cannot bid her do this, and I will not. Nor do I believe that she 
would do so if I bade her." Then he turned his chair round, and 
sat with his face to the wall, wiping away the tears with a tattered 
handkerchief. 

Mrs. Crawley led the major away to the further window, and there 
stood looking up into his face. It need hardly be said that they also 
were crying. Whose eyes could have been dry after such a scene, 
upon hearing such words ? " You had better go," said Mrs. Crawley. 
" I know him so well. You had better go." 

" Mrs. Crawley," he said, whispering to her, "if I ever desert her, 
may all that I love desert me ! But you will help me ? " 

" You would want no help, were it not for this trouble." 

" But you will help me ? " 

Then she paused a moment. " I can do nothing," she said, " but 
what he bids me." 

" You will trust me, at any rate ? " said the major. 

" I do trust you," she replied. Then he went without saying a 
word further to Mr. Crawley. As soon as he was gone, the wife went 
over to her husband, and put her arm gently round his neck as he was 
sitting. For a while the husband took no notice of his wife's caress, 
but sat motionless, with his face still turned to the wall. Then she 
spoke to him a word or two, telling him that their visitor was gone. 
"My child!" he said. "My poor child! my darling! She has 
found grace in this man's sight ; but even of that has her father robbed 
her ! The Lord has visited upon the children the sins of the father, 
and will do so to the third and fourth generation." 



CHAPTER LXIV. 



THE TRAGEDY IN HOOK COURT. 



\ 




;ONWAY DALRYMPLE had 
hurried out of the room in 
Mrs. Broughton' s house in 
which he had been painting 
Jael and Sisera, thinking that 
it would be better to meet an 
angry and perhaps tipsy hus- 
band on the stairs, than it 
would be either to wait for 
him till he should make his 
way into his wife's room, or 
to hide away from him with 
the view of escaping altogether 
from so disagreeable an en- 
counter. He had no fear of 
the man. He did not think 
that there would be any vio- 
lence, nor, as regarded him- 
self, did he much care if there was to be violence. But he felt that he 
was bound, as far as it might be possible, to screen the poor woman 
from the ill effects of her husband's temper and condition. He was, 
therefore, prepared to stop Broughton on the stairs, and to use some 
force in arresting him on his way, should he find the man to be really 
intoxicated. But he had not descended above a stair or two before he 
was aware that the man below him, whose step had been heard in the 
hall, was not intoxicated, and that he was not Dobbs Broughton. It 
was Mr. Musselboro. 

" It is you, is it ? " said Conway. " I thought it was Broughton." 
Then he looked into the man's face and saw that he was ashy pale. 
All that appearance of low-bred jauntiness which used to belong to him 
seemed to have been washed out of him. His hair had forgotten to curl, 
his gloves had been thrown aside, and even his trinkets were out of 
sight. " What has happened ? " said Conway. " What is the matter ? 
n. xxvi. 3 F 



218 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

Something is wrong." Then it occurred to him that Musselboro had 
been sent to the house to tell the wife of the husband's ruin. 

" The servant told me that I should find you upstairs," said 
Musselboro. 

" Yes ; I have been painting here. For some time past I have 
been doing a picture of Miss Van Siever. Mrs. Van. Siever has been 
here to-day." Conway thought that this information would produce 
some strong effect on Clara's proposed husband ; but he did not seem 
to regard the matter of the picture nor the mention of Miss Van 
Siever' s name. 

" She knows nothing of it ? " said he. " She doesn't know yet ? " 

" Know what ? " asked Conway. " She knows that her husband 
has lost money." 

" Dobbs has destroyed himself." 

"What!" 

" Blew his brains out this morning just inside the entrance at Hook 
Court. The horror of drink was on him, and he stood just in the 
pathway and shot himself. Bangles was standing at the top of their 
vaults and saw him do it. I don't think Bangles will ever be a man 
again. Lord ! I shall never get over it myself. The body was 
there when I went in." Then Musselboro sank back against the wall 
of the staircase, and stared at Dalrymple as though he still saw before 
him the terrible sight of which he had just spoken. 

Dalrymple seated himself on the stairs and strove to bring his 
mind to bear on the tale which he had just heard. What was he to 
do, and how was that poor woman upstairs to be informed? "You 
came here intending to tell her," he said, in a whisper. He feared 
every moment that Mrs. Broughton would appear on the stairs, and 
learn from a word or two what had happened without any hint to 
prepare her for the catastrophe. 

" I thought you would be here. I knew you were doing the picture. 
He knew it. He'd had a letter to say so, one of those anonymous 
ones." 

" But that didn't influence him? " 

" I don't think it was that," said Musselboro. " He meant to have 
had it out with her ; but it wasn't that as brought this about. Perhaps 
you didn't know that he was clean ruined ? " 

" She had told me." 

" Then she knew it?" 

" Oh, yes ; she knew that. Mrs. Van Siever had told her. Poor 
creature ! How are we to break this to her ? " 



THE TRAGEDY IN HOOK COUET. 219 

" You and she are very thick," saidMusselboro. " I suppose you'll 
do it best." By this time they were in the drawing-room, and the 
door was closed. Dalrymple had put his hand on the other man's arm, 
and had led him downstairs, out of reach of hearing from the room 
above. " You'll tell her, : won't you ? " said Musselboro. Then 
Dalrymple tried to think what loving female friend there was who could 
break the news to the unfortunate woman. He knew of the Yan 
Sievers, and he knew of the Demolines, and he almost knew that there 
was no other woman within reach whom he was entitled to regard as 
closely connected with Mrs. Broughton. He was well aware that the 
anonymous letter of which Musselboro had just spoken had come from 
Miss Demolines, and he could not go there for sympathy and assist- 
ance. Nor could he apply to Mrs. Yan Siever after what had passed 
this morning. To Clara Yan Siever he would have applied, but that it 
was impossible he should reach Clara except through her mother. " I 
suppose I had better go to her," he said, after a while. And then he 
went, leaving Musselboro in the drawing-room. " I'm so bad with it," 
said Musselboro, " that I really don't know how I shall ever go up 'that 
court again." 

Conway Dalrymple made his way up th'e stairs with very slow 
steps, and as he did so he could not but think seriously of the nature 
of his friendship with this woman, and could not but condemn himself 
heartily for the folly and iniquity of his own conduct. Scores of times 
he had professed his love to her with half- expressed words, intended to 
mean nothing, as he said to himself when he tried to excuse himself, 
but enough to turn her head, even if they did not reach her heart. 
Now, this woman was a widow, and it came to be his duty to tell her 
that she was so. What if she should claim from him now the love 
which he had so often proffered to her ! It was not that he feared that 
she would claim anything from him at this moment, neither now, nor 
to-morrow, nor the next day, but the agony of the present meeting 
would produce others in which there would be some tenderness mixed 
with the agony ; and so from one meeting to another the thing would 
progress. Dalrymple knew well enough how such things might pro- 
gress. But in this danger before him, it was not of himself that he 
was thinking, but of her. How could he assist her at such a time 
without doing her more injury than benefit ? And, if he did not assist 
her, who would do so ? He knew her to be heartless ; but even heart- 
less people have hearts which can be touched and almost broken by 
certain sorrows. Her heart would not be broken by her husband's 
death, but it would become very sore if she were utterly neglected. 

3 F 2 



220 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 

He was now at the door, with his hand on the lock, and was wondering 
why she should remain so long within without making herself heard. 
Then he opened it, and found her seated in a lounging-chair, with her 
back to the door, and he could see that she had a volume of a novel in 
her hand. He understood it all. She was pretending to be indifferent 
to her husband's return. He walked up to her, thinking that she 
would recognize his step ; but she made no sign of turning towards 
him. He saw the motion of her hair over the back of the chair as she 
affected to make herself luxuriously comfortable. She was striving to 
let her husband see that she cared nothing for him, or for his condition, 
or for his jealousy, if he were jealous, or even for his ruin. " Mrs. 
Broughton," he said, when he was close to her. Then she jumped up 
quickly, and turned round, facing him. " Where is Dobbs ? " she said. 
" Where is Broughton ? " 

"He is not here?" 

" He is in the house, for I heard him. Why have you come 
back?" 

Dalrymple's eye fell on the tattered canvas, and he thought of the 
doings of the past month. He thought of the picture of three Graces, 
which was hanging in the room below, and he thoroughly wished that 
he had never been introduced to the Broughton establishment. How 
was he to get through his present difficulty? "No," said he, 
" Broughton did not come. It was Mr. Musselboro whose steps you 
heard below." 

" What is he here for ? What is he doing here ? Where is Dobbs ? 
Conway, there is something the matter. He has gone off ! " 

" Yes ; he has gone off." 

" The coward ! " 

" No ; he was not a coward ; not in that way." 

The use of the past tense, unintentional as it had been, told the 
story to the woman at once. " He is dead," she said. Then he took 
both her hands in his and looked into her face without speaking a word. 
And she gazed at him with fixed eyes, and rigid mouth, while the quick 
coming breath just moved the curl of her nostrils. It occurred to him 
at the moment that he had never before seen her so wholly unaffected, 
and had never before observed that she was so totally deficient in 
all the elements of real beauty. She was the first to speak again. 
"Conway," she said, "tell it me all. Why do you not speak 
to me ? " 

" There is nothing further to tell," said he. 

Then she dropped his hands and walked away from him to the 



THE TRAGEDY IN HOOK COURT. 221 

window, and stood there looking out upon the stuccoed turret of a 
huge house that stood opposite. As she did so she was employing 
herself in counting the windows. Her mind was paralysed by the blow, 
and she knew not how to make any exertion with it for any purpose. 
Everything was changed with her, and was changed in such a way 
that she could make no guess as to her future mode of life. She was 
suddenly a widow, a pauper, and utterly desolate, while the only 
person in the whole world that she really liked was standing close to 
her. But in the midst of it all she counted the windows of the house 
opposite. Had it been possible for her she would have put her mind 
altogether to sleep. 

He let her stand for a few minutes and then joined her at the 
window. " My friend," he said, " what shall I do for you ? " 
" Do ? " she said. " What do you mean by doing ? " 
" Come and sit down and let me talk to you," he replied. Then 
he led her to the sofa, and as she seated herself I doubt whether she 
had not almost forgotten that her husband was dead. 

" What a pity it was to cut it up," she said, pointing to the rags of 
Jael and Sisera. 

" Never mind the picture now. Dreadful as it is, you must allow 
yourself to think of him for a few minutes." 

"Think of what ! God! yes. Conway, you must tell me what 
to do. Was everything gone ? It isn't about myself. I don't mind 
about myself. I wish it was me instead of him. I do. I do." 
" No wishing is of any avail." 

" But, Conway, how did it happen? Do you think it is true? 
That man would say anything to gain his object. Is he here 
now?" 

" I believe he is here still." 

"I won't see him. Remember that. Nothing on earth shall make 
me see him." 

"It may be necessary, but I do not think it will be ; at any rate 
not yet." 

" I will never see him. I believe that he has murdered my husband. 
I do. I feel sure of it. Now I think of it I am quite sure of it. And 
he will murder you too ; about that girl. He will. I tell you I know 
the man." Dalrymple simply shook his head, smiling sadly. " Veiy 
well ! you will see. But, Conway, how do you know that it is true ? 
Do you believe it yourself? " 
" I do believe it." 
" And how did it happen ? " ^ 



222 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" He could not bear the ruin that he had brought upon himself 
and you." 

" Then ; then " She went no further in her speech ; but 

Dalrymple assented by a slight motion of his head, and she had been 
informed sufficiently that her husband had perished by his own hand. 
" What am I to do ? " she said. " Oh, Conway ; you must tell me. 
Was there ever so miserable a woman ! Was it poison ? " 

He got up and walked quickly across the room and back again to 
the place where she was sitting. "Never mind about that now. You 
shall know all that in time. Do not ask any questions about that. If 
I were you I think I would go to bed. You will be better there than 
up, and this shock will make you sleep." 

"No," she said. " I will not go to bed. How should I know 
that that man would not come to me and kill me ? I believe he 
murdered Dobbs ; I do. You are not going to leave me, Conway ? " 

" I think I had better, for a while. There are things which should 
be done. Shall I send one of the women to you ? " 

" There is not one of them that cares for me in the least. Oh, 
Conway, do not go ; not yet. I will not be left alone in the house with 
him. You will be very cruel if you go and leave me now, when you 
have so often said that you, that you, that you were my friend." 
And now, at last, she began to weep. 

" I think it will be best," he said, " that I should go to Mrs. Van 
Siever. If I can manage it I will get Clara to come to you." 

"I do not want her," said Mrs. Broughton. " She is a heartless 
cold creature, and I do not want to have her near me. My poor 
husband was ruined among them ; yes, ruined among them. It has 
all been done that she may many that horrid man and live here in 
this house. I have known ever so long that he has not been safe 
among them." 

" You need fear nothing from Clara," said Dalrymple, with some 
touch of anger in his voice. 

" Of course you will say so. I can understand that very well. 
And it is natural that you should wish to be with her. Pray go." 

Then he sat beside her, and took her hand, and endeavoured to 
speak to her so seriously, that she herself might become serious, and if 
it might be possible, in some degree contemplative. He told her how 
necessary it was that she should have some woman near her in her 
trouble, and explained to her that as far as he knew her female friends, 
there would be no one who would be so considerate with her as Clara 
Van Siever. She at one time mentioned the name of Miss Demolines ; 



THE TRAGEDY IN HOOK COURT. 223 

but Dalrymple altogether opposed the notion of sending for that lady, 
expressing his opinion that the amiable Madalina had done all in 
her power to create quarrels both between Mrs. Broughton and her 
husband and between Dobbs Broughton and Mrs. Van Siever. And 
he spoke his opinion very fully about Miss Demolines. " And yet you 
liked her once," said Mrs. Broughton. " I never liked her," said 
Dalrymple with energy. " But all that matters nothing now. Of 
course you can send for her if you please ; but I do not think her 
trustworthy, and I will not willingly come in contact with her." Then 
Mrs. Broughton gave him to understand that of course she must 
give way, but that in giving way she felt herself to be submitting to 
that ill-usage which is the ordinary lot of women, and to which she, 
among women, had been specially subjected. She did not exactly say 
as much, fearing that if she did he would leave her altogether ; but that 
was the gist of her plaints and wails, and final acquiescence. 

" And you are going ? " she said, catching hold of his arm. 

" I will employ myself altogether and only about your afiairs, till I 
see you again." 

" But I want you to stay." 

"It would be madness. Look here; lie down till Clara comes 
or till I return. Do not go beyond this room and your own. If she 
cannot come this evening I will return. Good-by now. I will see the 
servants as I go out, and tell them what ought to be told." 

"Oh, Conway," she said, clutching hold of him again, " I know 
that you despise me." 

" I do not despise you, and I will be as good a friend to you as I 
can. God bless you." Then he went, and as he descended the 
stairs he could not refrain from telling himself that he did in truth 
despise her. 

His first object was to find Musselboro, and to dismiss that gentle- 
man from the house. For though he himself did not attribute to Mrs. 
Van Siever's favourite any of those terrible crimes and potentialities for 
crime, with which Mrs. Dobbs Broughton had invested him, still he 
thought it reasonable that the poor woman upstairs should not be 
subjected to the necessity of either seeing him or hearing him. But 
Musselboro had gone, and Dalrymple could not learn from the head 
woman- sprvant whom he saw, whether before going he had told to any 
one in the house the tale of the catastrophe which had happened in 
the City. Servants are wonderful actors, looking often as though they 
knew nothing when they know everytJiing, as though they understood 
nothing, when they understand all. Dalrymple made known all that 



224 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BAKSET. 

was necessary, and the discreet upper servant listened to the tale with 
a proper amount of awe and horror and commiseration. " Shot hisself 
in the City ; laws ! You'll excuse me, sir, but we all know'd as 
master was coming to no good." But she promised to do her best with 
her mistress, and kept her promise. It is seldom that servants are 
not good in such straits as that. 

From Mrs. Broughton's house Dalrymple went directly to Mrs. Van 
Siever's, and learned that Musselboro had been there about half an hour 
before, and had then gone off in a cab with Mrs. Van Siever. It was 
now nearly four o'clock in the afternoon, and no one in the house knew 
when Mrs. Van Siever would be back. Miss Van Siever was out, and 
had been out when Mr. Musselboro had called, but was expected in 
every minute. Conway therefore said that he wo aid call again, and on 
returning found Clara alone. She had not then heard a word of the fate 
of Dobbs Broughton. Of course she would go at once to Mrs. Broughton, 
and if necessary stay with her during the night. She wrote a line at 
once to her mother, saying where she was, and went across to Mrs. 
Broughton leaning on Dalrymple's arm. "Be good to her," said 
Conway, as he left her at the door. " I will," said Clara. " I will be 
as kind as my nature will allow me." " And remember," said Conway, 
whispering into her ear as he pressed her hand at leaving her, " that 
you are all the world to me." It was perhaps not a proper time for an 
expression of love, but Clara Van Siever forgave the impropriety. 



; CHAPTEB LXV. 

MISS VAN SIEVER MAKES HER CHOICE. 

CLARA VAN SIEVER did stay all that night with Mrs. Broughton. In 
the course of the evening she received a note from her mother, in 
which she was told to come home to breakfast. " You can go back to 
her afterwards," said Mrs. Van Siever ; " and I will see her myself in 
the course of the day, if she will let me." The note was written on a 
scrap of paper, and had neither beginning nor end ; but this was after 
the manner of Mrs. Van Siever, and Clara was not in the least hurt or 
surprised. " My mother will come to see you after breakfast," said 
Clara, as she was taking her leave. 

" Oh, goodness ! And what shallj say to her ? " 
" You will have to say very little. She will speak to you." 
f*I suppose everything belongs to her now," said Mrs. Broughton. 



MISS VAN SIEVEB MAKES HER CHOICE. 225 

" I know nothing about that. I never do know anything of 
mamma's money matters." 

" Of course she'll turn me out. I do not mind a bit about that, 
only I hope she'll let me have some mourning." Then she made Clara 
promise that she would return as soon as possible, having in Clara's 
presence overcome all that feeling of dislike which she had expressed to 
Conway Dalrymple. Mrs. Broughton was generally affectionate to those 
who were near to her. Had Musselboro forced himself into her 
presence, she would have become quite confidential with him before he 
left her. 

"Mr. Musselboro will be here directly," said Mrs. Van Siever, as 
she was starting for Mrs. Broughton' s house. " You had better tell 
him to come to me there ; or, stop, perhaps you had better keep him 
here till I come back. Tell him to be sure and wait for me." 

11 Very well, mamma. I suppose he can wait below ? " 

" Why should he wait below ? " said Mrs. Van Siever, very angrily. 

Clara had made the uncourteous proposition to her mother with the 
express intention of making it understood that she would have nothing 
to say to him. "He can come upstairs if he likes it," said Clara; 
" and I will go up to my room." 

" If you fight shy of him, miss, you may remember this, that you 
will fight shy of me at the same time." 

" I am sorry for that, mamma, for I shall certainly fight shy of 
Mr. Musselboro." 

" You can do as you please. I can't force you, and I shan't try. 
But I can make your life a burden to you, and I will. What's the 
matter with the man that he isn't good enough for you ? He's as good 
as any of your own people ever was. I hate your new-fangled airs, 
with pictures painted on the sly, and all the rest of it. I hate such 
ways. See what they have brought that wretched man to, and the 
poor fool his wife. If you go and marry that painter, some of these 
days you'll be very much like what she is. Only I doubt whether he 
has got courage enough to blow his brains out." With these comfort- 
able words, the old woman took herself off, leaving Clara to entertain 
her lover as best she might choose. 

Mr. Musselboro was not long in coming, and, in accordance with 
Mrs. Van Siever's implied directions to her daughter, was shown up 
into the drawing-room. Clara gave him her mother's message in a 
very few words. " I was expressly told, sir, to ask you to stop, if it is 
not inconvenient, as she very much wants to see you." Mr. Musselboro 
declared that of course he would stop. He was only too happy to have 



226 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

an opportunity of remaining in such delightful society. As Clara 
answered nothing to this, he went on to say that he hoped that the 
melancholy occasion of Mrs. Yan Siever's visit to Mrs. Broughton 
might make a long absence necessary, hfe did not, indeed, care how 
long it might be. He had recovered now from that paleness, and that 
want of gloves and jewellery which had befallen him on the previous 
day immediately after the sight he had seen in the City. Clara made 
no answer to the last speech, but, putting some things together in her 
work-basket, prepared to leave the room. " I hope you are not going 
to leave me ? " he said, in a voice that was intended to convey much of 
love, and something of melancholy. 

" I am so shocked by what has happened, Mr. Musselboro, that I 
am altogether unfit for conversation. I was with poor Mrs. Broughton 
last night, and I shall return to her when mamma comes home." 

"It is sad, certainly ; but what was there to be expected ? If 
you'd only seen how he used to go on." To this Clara made no 
answer. " Don't go yet," said he; "there is something that I want 
to say to you. There is, indeed." 

Clara Yan Siever was a young woman whose presence of mind rarely 
deserted her. It occurred to her now that she must undergo on some 
occasion the nuisance of a direct offer from this man, and that she 
could have no better opportunity of answering him after her own 
fashion than the present. Her mother was absent, and the field was 
her own. And, moreover, it was a point in her favour that the tragedy 
which had so lately occurred, and to which she had just now alluded, 
would give her a fair excuse for additional severity. At such a moment 
no man could, she told herself, be justified in making an offer of his 
love, and therefore she might rebuke him with the less remorse. I 
wonder whether the last words which Conway Dalrymple had spoken 
to her stung her conscience as she thought of this ! She had now 
reached the door, and was standing close to it. As Mr. Musselboro 
did not at once begin, she encouraged him. " If you have anything 
special to tell me, of course I will hear you," she said. 

" Miss Clara," he began, rising from his chair, and coming into the 
middle of the room, " I think you know what my wishes are." Then 
he put his hand upon his heart. " And your respected mother is the 
same way of thinking. It's that that emboldens me to be so sudden. 
Not but what my heart has been yours and yours only all along, before 
the old lady so much as mentioned it." Clara would give him no 
assistance, not even the aid of a negative, but stood there quite passive, 
with her hand on the door. " Since I first had the pleasure of seeing 



MISS YAN SIEVER MAKES HER CHOICE. 227 

you I Lave always said to myself, ' Augustus Musselboro, that is the 
woman for you, if you can only win her.' But then there was so much 
against me, wasn't there ? " She would not even take advantage of 
this by assuring him that there certainly always had been much against 
him, but allowed him to go on till he should run out all the length of 
his tether. "I mean, of course, in the way of money," he continued. 
" I hadn't much that I could call my own when your respected mamma 
first allowed me to become acquainted with you. But it's different 
now ; and I think I may say that I'm all right in that respect. Poor 
Broughton's going in this way will make it a deal smoother to me ; and 
I may say that I and your mamma will be all in all to each other now 
about money." Then he stopped. 

"I don't quite understand what you mean by all this," said 
Clara. 

"I mean that there isn't a more devoted fellow in all London than 
what I am to you." Then he was about to go down on one knee, but 
it occurred to him that it would not be convenient to kneel to a lady 
who would stand quite close to the door. " One and one, if they're put 
together well, will often make more than two, and so they shall with us," 
said Musselboro, who began to feel that it might be expedient to throw 
a little spirit into his words. 

" If you have done," said Clara, "you may as well hear me for a 
minute. And I hope you will have sense to understand that I really 
mean what I say." 

" I hope you will remember what are your mamma's wishes." 

" Mamma's wishes have no influence whatsoever with me in such 
matters as this. Mamma's arrangements with you are for her own con- 
venience, -and I am not a party to them. I do not know anything about 
mamma's money, and I do not want to know. But under no possible 
circumstances will I consent to become your wife. Nothing that mamma 
could say or do would induce me even to think of it. I hope you will 
be man enough to take this for an answer, and say nothing more 
about it." 

" But, Miss Clara " 

" It's no good your Miss Claraing me, sir. "What I have said you 
may be sure I mean. Good-morning, sir." Then she opened the 
door, and left him. 

" By Jove, she is a Tartar," said Musselboro to himself, when he 
was alone. " They're both Tartars, but the younger is the worse." 
Then he began to speculate whether Fortune was not doing the best for 
him in so arranging that he might have the use of the Tartar-mother's 



228 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

money without binding himself to endure for life the Tartar qualities of 
the daughter. 

It had been understood that Clara was to wait at home till her 
mother should return before she again went across to Mrs. Broughton. 
At about eleven Mrs. Van Siever came in, and her daughter intercepted 
her at the dining-room door before she had made her way upstairs 
to Mr. Musselboro. " How is she, mamma ? " said Clara with some- 
thing of hypocrisy in her assumed interest for Mrs. Broughton. 

" She is an idiot," said Mrs. Van Siever. 

" She has had a terrible misfortune ! " 

" That is no reason why she should be an idiot ; and she is heartless 
too. She never cared a bit for him ; not a bit." 

" He was a man whom it was impossible to care for much. I will 
go to her now, mamma." 

" Where is Musselboro ? " 

"He is upstairs." 

" Well ? " 

" Mamma, that is quite out of the question. Quite. I would not 
marry him to save myself from starving." 

" You do not know what starving is yet, my dear. Tell me the 
truth at once. Are you engaged to that painter ? " Clara paused a 
moment before she answered, not hesitating as to the expediency of 
telling her mother any truth on the matter in question, but doubting 
what the truth might really be. Could she say that she was engaged to 
Mr. Dalrymple, or could she say that she was not ? "If you tell me 
a lie, miss, I'll have you put out of the house." 

" I certainly shall not tell you a lie. Mr. Dalrymple has asked me 
to be his wife, and I have made him no answer. If he asks me again 
I shall accept him." 

" Then I order you not to leave this house," said Mrs. Van Siever. 

" Surely I may go to Mrs. Broughton ? " 

" I order you not to leave this house," said Mrs. Van Siever again, 
and thereupon she stalked out of the dining-room and went upstairs. 
Clara had been standing with her bonnet on, ready dressed to go out, 
and the mother made no attempt to send the daughter up to her room. 
That she did not expect to be obeyed in her order may be inferred from 
the first words which she spoke to Mr. Musselboro. " She has gone off 
to that man now. You are no good, Musselboro, at this kind of work." 

" You see, Mrs. Van, he had the start of me so much. And then 
being at the West End, and all that, gives a man such a standing with 
a girl ! " 




'YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT STARVING IS, MY DEAR" 



MISS VAN SIEVER MAKES HER CHOICE. 229 

" Bother ! " said Mrs. Van Siever, as her quick ear caught the sound 
of the closing hall- door. Clara had stood a minute or two to consider, 
and then had resolved that she would disobey her mother. She tried 
to excuse her own conduct to her own satisfaction as she went. " There 
are some things," she said, " which even a daughter cannot hear from 
her mother. If she chooses to close the door against me, she must 
do so." 

She found Mrs. Broughton still in bed, and could not but agree 
with her mother that the woman was both silly and heartless. 

" Your mother says that everything must be sold up," said Mrs. 
Broughton. 

" At any rate you would hardly choose to remain here," said Clara. 

" But I hope she'll let me have my own things. A great many of 
them are altogether my own. I know there's a law that a woman may 
have her own things, even though her husband has, done what poor 
Dobbs did. And I think she was hard upon me about the mourning. 
They never do mind giving credit for such things as that, and though 
there is a bill due to Mrs. Morell now, she has had a deal of Dobbs 's 
money." Clara promised her th#t she should have mourning to her 
heart's content. " I will see to that myself," she said. 

Presently there was a knock at the door, and the discreet head- 
servant beckoned Clara out of the room. " You are not' going away," 
said Mrs. Broughton. Clara promised her that she would not go 
without coming back again. "He will be here soon, I suppose, and 
perhaps you had better see him ; though, for the matter of that, 
perhaps you had better not, because he is so much cut up about poor 
Dobbs." The servant had come up to tell Clara that the "he" 
in question was at the present moment waiting for her below 
stairs. 

The first words which passed between Dalryrnple and Clara had 
reference to the widow. He told her what he had learned in the City, 
that Broughton' s property had never been great, and that his personal 
liabilities at the time of his death were supposed to be small. But he 
had fallen lately altogether into the hands of Musselboro, who, though 
penniless himself in the way of capital, was backed by the money of 
Mrs. Yan Siever. There was no doubt that Broughton had destroyed 
himself in the manner told by Musselboro, but the opinion in the City 
was that he had done so rather through the effects of drink than 
because of his losses. As to the widow, Dalrymple thought that 
Mrs. Yan Siever, or nominally, perhaps, Musselboro, might be induced 
to settle an annuity on her, if she would give up everything quietly. 



230 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I doubt whether your mother is not responsible for everything 
Broughtou owed when he died, for everything, that is, in the way of 
business ; and if so, Mrs. Broughton will certainly have a claim upon 
the estate." It occurred to Dalrymple once or twice that he was talking 
to Clara about Mrs. Van Siever as though he and Clara were more 
closely bound together than were Clara and her mother; but Clara 
seemed to take this in good part, and was as solicitous as was he 
himself in the matter of Mrs. Broughton's interest. 

Then the discreet head- servant knocked and told them that Mrs. 
Broughton was very anxious to see Mr. DaJrymple, but that Miss Van 
Siever was on no account to go away. She was up, and in her dressing- 
gown, and had gone into the sitting-room. "I will come directly," 
said Dalrymple, and the discreet head-servant retired. 

" Clara," said Conway, " I do not know when I may have another 
chance of asking for an answer to my question. You heard my 
question? " 

" Yes, I heard it." 

" And will you answer it ? " 

" If you wish it, I will." 

" Of course I wish it. You understood what I said upon the 
doorstep yesterday" 

" I don't think much of that ; men say those things so often. What 
you said before was serious, I suppose ?" 

" Serious ! Heavens ! do you think that I am joking ? " 

"Mamma wants me to marry Mr. Musselboro." 

" He is a vulgar brute. It would be impossible." 

" It is impossible ; but mamma is very obstinate. I have no fortune 
of my own, not a shilling. She told me to-day that she would turn 
me into the street. She forbade me to come here, thinking I should 
meet you ; but I came, because I had promised Mrs. Broughton. I am 
sure that she will never give me one shilling." 

Dalrymple paused for a moment. It was certainly true that he had 
regarded Clara Van Siever as an heiress, and had at first been attracted 
to her because he thought it expedient to marry an heiress. But there 
had since come something beyond that, and there was perhaps less of 
regret than most men would have felt as he gave up his golden hopes. 
He took her into his arms and kissed her, and called her his own. 
" Now we understand each other," he said. 

" If you wish it to be so." 

" I do wish it." 

" And I shall tell my mother to-day that I am engaged to you, 



MISS YAN SIEVES MAKES HER CHOICE. 231 

unless she refuses to see me. Go to Mrs. Broughton now. I feel that 
we are almost cruel to be thinking of ourselves in this house at such a 
time." Upon this Dalrymple went, and Clara Van Siever was left to 
her reflections. She had never before had a lover. She had never 
had 'even a friend whom she loved and trusted. Her life had been 
passed at school till she was nearly twenty, and since then she had 
been vainly endeavouring to accommodate herself and her feelings to 
her mother. Now she was about to throw herself into the absolute 
power of a man who was nearly a stranger to her ! But she did love 
him, as she had never loved any one else ; and then, on the other 
side, there was Mr. Musselboro ! 

Dalrymple was upstairs for an hour, and Clara did not see him 
again before he left the house. It was clear to her, from Mrs. 
Broughton's first words, that Conway had told her what had passed. 
"Of course I shall never see anything more of either of you now?" 
said Mrs. Broughtou. 

" I should say that probably you will see a great deal of us both." 

" There are some people," said Mrs. Broughton, " who can do well 
for their friends, but can never do well for themselves. I am one of 
them. I saw at once how great a thing it would be for both of you to 
bring you two together, especially for you, Clara ; and therefore I did 
it. I may say that I never had it out of my mind for months past. 
Poor Dobbs misunderstood what I was doing. God knows how far 
that may have brought about what has happened." 

" Oh, Mrs. Broughton !" 

"Of course he could not be blind to one thing; nor was I. I 
mention it now because it is right, but I shall never, never allude to it 

again. Of course he saw, and I saw, that Conway was attached to 

me. Poor Conway meant no harm. I was aware of that. But there 
was the terrible fact. I knew at once that the only cure for him was a 
marriage with some girl that he could respect. Admiring you as I do, I 
immediately resolved on bringing you two together. My dear, I have 
been successful, and I heartily trust that you may be happier than 
Maria Broughton." 

Miss Van Siever knew the woman, understood all the facts, and 
pitying the condition of the wretched creature, bore all this without a 
word of rebuke. She scorned to* put out her strength against one who 
was in truth so weak. 



CHAPTER LXYI. 
REQUIESCAT IN PACE. 

THINGS were very gloomy at the palace. It has been already said that 
for many days after Dr. Tempest's visit to Barchester the intercourse 
between the bishop and Mrs Proudie had not been of a pleasant nature. 
He had become so silent, so sullen, and so solitary in his ways, that 
even her courage had been almost cowed, and for a while she had conde- 
scended to use gentler measures, with the hope that she might thus 
bring her lord round to his usual state of active submission ; or perhaps, 
if we strive to do her full justice, we may say of her that her effort was 
made conscientiously, with the idea of inducing him to do his duty with 
proper activity. For she was a woman not without a conscience, and by 
no means indifferent to the real service which her husband, as bishop of 
the diocese, was bound to render to the affairs of the Church around 
her. Of her own struggles after personal dominion she was herself 
unconscious ; and no doubt they gave her, when recognized and 
acknowledged by herself, many stabs to her inner self, of which no 
single being in the world knew anything. And now, as after a while 
she failed in producing any amelioration in the bishop's mood, her 
temper also gave way, and things were becoming very gloomy and 
very unpleasant. 

The bishop and his wife were at present alone in the palace. Their 
married daughter and her husband had left them, and their unmarried 
daughter was also away. How far the bishop's mood may have pro- 
duced this solitude in the vast house I will not say. Probably Mrs. 
Proudie' s state of mind may have prevented her from having other 
guests in the place of those who were gone. She felt herself to be 
almost disgraced in the eyes of all those around her by her husband's 
long absence from the common rooms of the house and by his dogged 
silence at meals. It was better, she thought, that they two should be 
alone in the palace. 

Her own efforts to bring him back to something like life, to some 
activity of mind if not of body, were made constantly ; and when she 
failed, as she did fail day after day, she would go slowly to her own 
room, and lock her door, and look back in her solitude at all the days 
of her life. She had agonies in these minutes of which no one near her 



REQUIESCAT IN PACE. 233 

knew anything. She would seize with her arm the part of the bed near 
which she would stand, and hold by it, grasping it, as though she were 
afraid to fall ; and then, when it was at the worst with her, she would 
go to her closet, a closet that no eyes ever saw unlocked but her own, 
and fill for herself and swallow some draught ; and then she would sit 
down with the Bible before her, and read it sedulously. She spent 
hours every day with her Bible before her, repeating to herself whole 
chapters, which she almost knew by heart. 

It cannot be said that she was a bad woman, though she had in her 
time done an indescribable amount of evil. She had endeavoured to do 
good, failing partly by ignorance and partly from the effects of an 
unbridled, ambitious temper. And now, even amidst her keenest 
sufferings, her ambition was by no means dead. She still longed to 
rule the diocese by means of her husband, but was made to pause 
and hesitate by the unwonted mood that had fallen upon him. Before 
this, on more than one occasion, and on one very memorable occasion, 
he had endeavoured to combat her- He had fought with her, striving 
to put her down. He had failed, and given up the hope of any escape 
for himself in that direction. On those occasions her courage had 
never quailed for a moment. While he openly struggled to be master, 
she could openly struggle to be mistress, and could enjoy the struggle. 
But nothing like this moodiness had ever come upon him before. 

She had yielded to it for many days, striving to coax him by little 
softnesses of which she herself had been ashamed as she practised 
them. They had served her nothing, and at last she determined that 
something else must be done. If only for his sake, to keep some life 
in him, something else must be done. Were he to continue as he was 
now, he must give up his diocese, or, at any rate, declare himself too ill 
to keep the working of it in his own hands. How she hated Mr. Crawley 
for all the sorrow that he had brought upon her and her house ! 

And it was still the affair of Mr. Crawley which urged her on to 
further action. When the bishop received Mr. Crawley's letter he said 
nothing of it to her; but he handed it over to his chaplain. The 
chaplain, fearing to act upon it himself, handed it to Mr. Thumble, 
whom he knew to be one of the bishop's commission, and Mr. Thumble, 
equally fearing responsibility in the present state of affairs at the palace, 
found himself obliged to consult Mrs. Proudie. Mrs. Proudie had no 
doubt as to what should be done. The man had abdicated his living, 
and of course some provision must be made for the services. She 
would again make an attempt upon her husband, and therefore she 
went into his room holding Mr. Crawley's letter in her hand. 

n. xxvi. 3 at 



23-1 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"My dear," she said, "here is Mr. Crawley's letter. I suppose 
you have read it ? " 

" Yes," said the bishop ; " I have read it." 

" And what will you do about it ? Something must be done." 

" I don't know," said he. He did not even look at her as he spoke. 
He had not turned his eyes upon her since she had entered the room. 

" But, bishop, it is a letter that requires to be acted upon at once. 
We cannot doubt that the man is doing right at last. He is submitting 
himself where his submission is due ; but his submission will be of no 
avail unless you take some action upon his letter. Do you not think 
that Mr. Thumble had better go over ?" 

" No, I don't. I think Mr. Thumble had better stay where he is," 
said the irritated bishop. 

" What, then, would you wish to have done ?" 

"Never mind," said he. 

" But, bishop, that is nonsense," said Mrs. Proudie, adding some- 
thing of severity to the tone of her voice. 

" No, it isn't nonsense," said he. Still he did not look at her, nor 
had he done so for a moment since she had entered the room. Mrs. 
Proudie could not bear this, and as her anger became strong within 
her breast, she told herself that she would be wrong to bear it. She 
had tried what gentleness would do, and she had failed. It was now 
imperatively necessary that she should resort to sterner measures. She 
must make him understand that he must give her authority to send 
Mr. Thumble to Hogglestock. 

" Why do you not turn round and speak to me properly ?" she 
said. 

" I do not want to speak to you at all," the bishop answered. 

This was very bad ; almost anything would be better than this. 
He was sitting now over the fire, with his elbows on his knees, and his 
face buried in his hands. She had gone round the room so as to face 
him, and was now standing almost over him, but still she could not see 
his countenance. " This will not do at all," she said. " My dear, do 
you know that you are forgetting yourself altogether ? " 

" I wish I could forget myself." 

" That might be all very well if you were in a position in which 
you owed no service to any one ; or, rather, it would not be well then, 
but the evil would not be so manifest. You cannot do your duty 
in the diocese if you continue to sit there doing nothing, with your 
head upon your hands. Why do you not rally, and get to your work 
like a man ? " 



REQTJIESCAT IN PACE. 235 

" I wish you would go away and leave me," lie said. 

" No, bishop, I will not go away and leave you. You have brought 
yourself to such a condition that it is my duty as your wife to stay by 
you ; and if you neglect your duty, I will not neglect mine." 

" It was you that brought me to it." 

" No, sir, that is not true. I did not bring you to it." 

" It is the truth." And now he got up and looked at her. For a 
moment he stood upon his legs, and then again he sat down with his 
face turned towards her. " It is the truth. You have brought on me 
such disgrace that I cannot hold up my head. You have ruined me. 
I wish I were dead ; and it is all through you that I am driven to 
wish it." 

Of all that she had suffered in her life this was the worst. She 
clasped both her hands to her side as she listened to him, and for a 
minute or two she made no reply. When he ceased from speaking he 
again put his elbows on his knees and again buried his face in his 
hands. "What had she better do, or how was it expedient that she 
should treat him ? At this crisis the whole thing was so important to 
her that she would have postponed her own ambition and would have 
curbed her temper had she thought that by doing so she might in any 
degree have benefited him. But it seemed to her that she could not 
rouse him by conciliation. Neither could she leave him as he was. 
Something must be done. " Bishop," she said, " the words that you 
speak are sinful, very sinful." 

" You have made them sinful," he replied. 

" I will not hear that from you. I will not indeed. I have endea- 
voured to do my duty by you, and I do not deserve it. I am endea- 
vouring to do my duty now, and you must know that it would ill become 
me to remain quiescent while you are in such a state. The world 
around you is observing you, and knows that you are not doing your 
work. All I want of you is that you should arouse yourself, and go to 
your work." 

" I could do my work very well," he said, " if you were not here." 

" I suppose, then, you wish that I were dead ? " said Mrs. Proudie. 
To this he made no reply, nor did he stir himself. How could flesh 
and blood bear this, female flesh and blood, Mrs. Proudie's flesh and 
blood ? Now, at last, her temper once more got the better of her judg- 
ment, probably much to her immediate satisfaction, and she spoke out. 
" I'll tell you what it is, my lord ; if you are imbecile, I must be active. 
It is very sad that I should have to assume your authority " 

" I will not allow you to assume my authority." 



230 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I must do so, or must else obtain a medical certificate as to your 
incapacity, and beg that some neighbouring bishop may administer the 
diocese. Things shall not go on as they are now. I, at any rate, will 
do my duty. I shall tell Mr. Thumble that he must go over to Hoggle- 
stock, and arrange for the duties of the parish." 

"I desire that you will do no such thing," said the bishop, now 
again looking up at her. 

" You may be sure that I shall," said Mrs. Proudie, and then she 
left the room. 

He did not even yet suppose that she would go about this work at 
once. The condition of his mind was in truth bad, and was becoming 
worse, probably, from day to day ; but still he did make his calculations 
about things, and now reflected that it would be sufficient if he spoke to 
his chaplain to-morrow about Mr. Crawley's letter. Since the terrible 
scene that Dr. Tempest had witnessed, he had never been able to make 
up his mind as to what great step he would take, but he had made up 
his mind that some great step was necessary. There were moments in 
which he thought that he would resign his bishopric. For such resigna- 
tion, without acknowledged incompetence on the score of infirmity, the 
precedents were very few; but even if there were no precedents, it 
would be better to do that than to remain where he was. Of course 
there would be disgrace. But then it wpuld be disgrace from which he 
could hide himself. Now there was equal disgrace ; and he could not 
hide himself. And then such a measure as that would bring punish- 
ment where punishment was due. It would bring his wife to the ground, 
her who had brought him to the ground. The suffering should not 
be all his own. "When she found that her income, and her palace, and 
her position were all gone, then perhaps she might repent the evil that 
she had done him. Now, when he was left alone, his mind went back 
to this, and he did not think of taking immediate measures, measures 
on that very day, to prevent the action of Mr. Thumble. 

But Mrs. Proudie did take immediate steps. Mr. Thumble was at 
this moment in the palace waiting for instructions. It was he who had 
brought Mri Crawley's letter to Mrs. Proudie, and she now returned to 
him with that letter in her hand. The reader will know what was the 
result. Mr. Thumble was sent off to Hogglestock at once on the 
bishop's old cob, and, as will be remembered, fell into trouble on 
the road. Late in the afternoon he entered the palace yard, having led 
the cob by the bridle the whole way home from Hogglestock. 

Some hour or two before Mr. Thumble's return Mrs. Proudie 
returned to her husband, thinking it better to let him know what she 



REQUIESCAT IN PACE. 237 

had done. She resolyed to be very firm with him, but at the same 
time she determined not to use harsh language if it could be avoided. 
11 My dear," she said, "I have arranged with Mr. Thurnble." She 
found him on this occasion sitting at his desk with papers before him, 
with a pen in his hand ; and she could see at a glance that nothing 
had been written on the paper. What would she have thought 
had she known that when he placed the sheet before him he was 
proposing to consult the archbishop as to the propriety of his resig- 
nation ! He had not, however, progressed so far as to write even the 
date of his letter. 

" You have done what ?" said he, throwing down the pen. 

" I have arranged with Mr. Thumble as to going out to Hogglestock," 
said she firmly. "Indeed he has gone already." Then the bishop 
jumped up from his seat, and rang the bell with violence. " What are 
you going to do ?" said Mrs. Proudie. 

" I am going to depart from here," said he. " I will not stay here 
to be the mark of scorn for all men's fingers. I mil resign the diocese." 

" You cannot do that," said his wife. 

" I can try, at any rate," said he. Then the servant entered. 
" John," said he, addressing the man, " let Mr. Thumble know the 
moment he returns to the palace that I wish to see him here. Perhaps 
he may not come to the palace. In that case let word be sent to his 
house." 

Mrs. Proudie allowed the man to go before she addressed her 
husband again. " What do you mean to say to Mr. Thumble when 
you see him?" 

" That is nothing to you." 

She came up to him and put her hand upon his shoulder, and spoke 
to him very gently. " Tom," she said, " is that the way in which you 
speak to your wife ? " 

" Yes, it is. You have driven me to it. Why have you taken upon 
yourself to send that man to Hogglestock?" 

" Because it was right to do so. I came to you for instructions, 
and you would give none." 

" I should have given what instructions I pleased in proper time. 
Thumble shall not go to Hogglestock next Sunday." 

"Who shall go, then?" 

" Never mind. Nobody. It does not matter to you. If you will 
leave me now I shall be obliged to you. There will be an end of all 
this very soon, very soon." 

Mrs. Proudie after this stood for a while thinlung what she would 



238 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BARSET. 

say ; but she left the room without uttering another word. As she 
looked at him a hundred different thoughts came into her mind. She 
had loved him dearly, and she loved him still ; but she knew now, at 
this moment felt absolutely sure, that by him she was hated ! In spite 
of all her roughness and temper, Mrs. Proudie was in this like other 
women, that she would fain have been loved had it been possible. 
She had always meant to serve him. She was conscious of that ; 
conscious also in a way that, although she had been industrious, 
although she had been faithful, although she was clever, yet she had 
failed. At the bottom of her heart she knew that she had been a bad 
wife. And yet she had meant to be a pattern wife ! She had meant 
to be a good Christian ; but she had so exercised her Christianity that 
not a soul in the world loved her, or would endure her presence if it 
could be avoided ! She had sufficient insight to the minds and feel- 
ings of those around her to be aware of this. And now her husband 
had told her that her tyranny to him was so overbearing that he 
must throw up his great position, and retire to an obscurity that would 
be exceptionally disgraceful to them both, because he could no longer 
endure the public disgrace which her conduct brought upon him in his 
high place before the world ! Her heart was too full for speech ; and 
she left him, very quietly closing the door behind her. 

She was preparing to go up to her chamber, with her hand on the 
banisters and with her foo^ on the stairs, when she saw the servant 
who had answered the bishop's bell. "John," she said, "when Mr. 
Thumble comes to the palace, let me see him before he goes to 
niy lord." 

" Yes, ma'am," said John, who well understood the nature of these 
quarrels between his master and his mistress. But the commands of 
the mistress were still paramount among the servants, and John pro- 
ceeded on his mission with the view of accomplishing Mrs. Proudie's 
behests. Then Mrs. Proudie went upstairs to her chamber, and locked 
her door. 

Mr. Thuinble returned to Barchester that day, leading the broken- 
down cob ; and a dreadful walk he had. He was not good at walking, 
and before he came near Barchester had come to entertain a violent 
hatred for the beast he was leading. The leading of a horse that is 
tired, or in pain, or lame, or even stiff in his limbs, is not pleasant 
work. The brute will not accommodate his paces to the man, and will 
contrive to make his head very heavy on the bridle. And he will not 
walk on the part of the road which the man -intends for him, but will 
lean against the man, and will make himself altogether very disagree- 



REQUIESCAT IN PACE. 239 

able. It may be understood, therefore, that Mr. Thuinble was not in 
a good humour when he entered the palace yard. Nor was he 
altogether quiet in his mind as to the injury which he had done to 
the animal. " It was the brute's fault," said Mr. Thumble. " It 
comes generally of not knowing how to ride 'em," said the groom. 
For Mr. Thumble, though he often had a horse out of the episcopal 
stables, was not ready with his shillings to the man who waited upon 
him with the steed. 

He had not, however, come to any satisfactory understanding 
respecting the broken knees when the footman from the palace told 
him he was wanted. It was in vain that Mr. Thumble pleaded that 
he was nearly dead with fatigue, that he had walked all the way from 
Hogglestock and must go home to change his clothes. John was peremp- 
tory with him, insisting that he must wait first upon Mrs. Proudie and 
then upon the bishop. Mr. Thumble might perhaps have turned 
a deaf ear to the latter command, but the former was one which he 
felt himself bound to obey. So he entered the palace, rather cross, 
very much soiled as to his outer man ; and in this condition went up 
a certain small staircase which was familiar to him, to a small parlour 
which adjoined Mrs. Proudie's room, and there awaited the arrival 
of the lady. That he should be required to wait some quarter of an 
hour was not surprising to him ; but when half an hour was gone, and 
he remembered himself of his own wife at home, and of the dinner 
which he had not yet eaten, he ventured to ring the bell. Mrs. 
Proudie's own maid, Mrs. Draper by name, came to him and said that 
she had knocked twice at Mrs. Proudie's door and would knock again. 
Two minutes after that she returned, running into the room with her 
arms extended, and exclaiming, " Oh, heavens, sir; mistress is dead ! " 
Mr. Thumble, hardly knowing what he was about, followed the woman 
into the bedroom, and there he found himself standing awestruck 
before the corpse of her who had so lately been the presiding spirit 
of the palace. 

The body was still resting on its legs, leaning against the end of 
the side of the bed, while one of the arms was close clasped round the 
bed-post. The mouth was rigidly close, but the eyes were open as 
though staring at him. Nevertheless there could be no doubt from the 
first glance that the woman was dead. He went up close to it, but 
did not dare to touch it. There was no one as yet there but he and 
Mrs. Draper ; no one else knew what had happened. 

"It's her heart," said Mrs. Draper. 

" Did she suffer from heart complaint ? " he asked. 



240 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" We suspected it, sir, though nobody knew it. She was very 
shy of talking about herself." 

" We must send for the doctor at once," said Mr. Thuinble. "We 
had better touch nothing till he is here." Then they retreated and the 
door was locked. 

In ten minutes everybody in the house knew it except the bishop ; 
and in twenty minutes the nearest apothecary with his assistant were 
in the room, and the body had been properly laid upon the bed. 
Even then the husband had not been told, did not know either his 
relief or his loss. It was now past seven, which was the usual hour 
for dinner at the palace, and it was probable that he would come out 
of his room among the servants, if he were not summoned. When it 
was proposed to Mr. Thumble that he should go in to him and tell 
him, he positively declined, saying that the sight which he had just 
seen and the exertions of the day together, had so unnerved him, that 
he had not physical strength for the task. The apothecary, who had 
been summoned in a hurry, had escaped, probably being equally 
unwilling to be the bearer of such a communication. The duty there- 
fore fell to Mrs. Draper, and under the pressing instance of the other 
servants she descended to her master's room. Had it not been that 
the hour of dinner had come, so that the bishop could not have been 
left much longer to himself, the evil time would have been still 
postponed. 

She went very slowly along the passage, and was just going to pause 
ere she reached the room, when the door was opened and the bishop 
stood close before her. It was easy to be seen that he was cross. His 
hands and face were unwashed and his face was haggard. In these days 
he would not even go through the ceremony of dressing himself before 
dinner. " Mrs. Draper," he said, " why don't- they tell me that dinner 
is ready ? Are they going to give me any dinner ? " She stood a 
moment without answering him, while the tears streamed down her face. 
"What is the matter?" said he. "Has your mistress sent you 
here ? " 

" Oh, laws ! " said Mrs. Draper, and she put out her hands to 
support him if such support should be necessary. 

' * What is the matter ? " he demanded angrily. 

" Oh, my lord ; bear it like a Christian. Mistress isn't no more.'! 
He leaned back against the door-post, and she took hold of him by the 
arm. " It was the heart, my lord. Dr. Filgrave hisself has not been 
yet; but that's what it was." The bishop did not say a word, but 
walked back to his chair before the fire. 



CHAPTER LXVIL 



IN MEMORIAL. 

HE bishop when he had heard 
the tidings of his wife's death 
walked back to his seat over 
the fire, and Mrs. Draper, the 
housekeeper, came and stood 
over him without speaking. 
Thus she stood for ten minutes 
looking down at him and listen- 
ing. * But there was no sound ; 
not a word, nor a moan, nor a 
sob. It was as though he also 
were dead, but that a slight 
irregular movement of his 
fingers on the top of his bald 
head, told her that his mind 
and body were still active. 
" My lord," she said at last, 
" would you wish to see the 
doctor when he comes ? " She spoke very low and he did not answer 
her. Then, after another minute of silence, she asked the same ques- 
tion again. 

" What doctor ? " he said. 

" Dr. Filgrave. We sent for him. Perhaps he is here now. Shall 
I go and see, my lord ? " Mrs. Draper found that her position there 
was weary and she wished to escape. Anything on his behalf requiring 
trouble or work she would have done willingly ; but she could not stand 
there for ever watching the motion of his fingers. 

"I suppose I must see him," said the bishop. Mrs. Draper took 
this as an order for her departure and crept silently out of the room, 
closing the door behind her with the long protracted elaborate click 
which is always produced by an attempt at silence on such occasions. 
He did not care for noise or for silence. Had she slammed the door he 
vould not have regarded it. A wonderful silence had come upon him 
II. xxvn. H 




212 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

which for the time almost crushed him. He would never hear that well- 
known voice again ! 

He was free now. Even in His misery, for he was very miserable, 
he could not refrain from telling himself that. No one could now 
press uncalled-for into his study, contradict him in the presence of those 
before whom he was bound to be authoritative, and rob him of all his 
dignity. There was no one else of whom he was afraid. She had at 
least kept him out of the hands of other tyrants. He was now his own 
master, and there was a feeling, I may not call it of relief, for as yet 
there was more of pain in it than of satisfaction, a feeling as though 
he had escaped from an old trouble at a terrible cost of which he could 
not as yet calculate the amount. He knew that he might now give up 
all idea of writing to the archbishop. 

She had in some ways, and at certain periods of his life, been very 
good to him. She had kept his money for him and made things go 
straight, when they had been poor. His interests had always been her 
interests. Without her he would never have been a bishop. So, at least, 
he told himself now, and so told himself probably with truth. She had 
been very careful of his children. She had never been idle. She had 
never been fond of pleasure. She had neglected no acknowledged duty. 
He did not doubt that she was now on her way to heaven. He took 
his hands down from his head, and clasping them together, said a little 
prayer. It may be doubted whether he quite knew for what he was 
praying. The idea of praying for her soul, now that she was dead, 
would have scandalized him. He certainly was not praying for his own 
soul. I think he was praying that God might save him from being glad 
that his wife was dead. 

But she was dead ; and, as it were, in a moment ! He had not 
stirred out of that room since she had been there with him. Then there 
had been angry words between them, perhaps more determined enmity 
on his part than ever had before existed ; and they had parted for the 
last time with bitter animosity. But he told himself that he had 
certainly been right in what he had done then. He thought he had 
been right then. And so his mind went back to the Crawley and 
Thumble question, and he tried to alleviate the misery which that- last 
interview with his wife now created by assuring himself that he at least 
had been justified in what he had done. 

But yet his thoughts were very tender to her. Nothing reopens the 
springs of love so fully as absence, and no absence so thoroughly as that 
-which must needs be endless. We want that which we have not ; and 
especially that which we can never have. She had told him in the 



IN MEMORIAM. 243 

very last moments of her presence with him that he was wishing that 
she were dead, and he had made her no reply. At the moment he had 
felt, with savage anger, that such was his wish. Her words had now 
come to pass, and he was a widower, and he assured himself that he 
would give all that he possessed in the world to bring her back again. 

Yes, he was a widower, and he might do as he pleased. The tyrant 
was gone, and he was free. The tyrant was gone, and the tyranny had 
doubtless been very oppressive. Who had suffered as he had done ? 
But in thus being left without his tyrant he was wretchedly desolate. 
Might it not be that the tyranny had been good for him ? that the 
Lord had known best what wife was fit for him ? Then he thought of a 
story which he had read, and had well marked as he was reading, 
of some man who had been terribly afflicted by his wife, whose wife 
had starved him and beaten him and reviled him ; and yet this man 
had been able to thank his God for having thus mortified him in the 
flesh. Might it not be that the mortification which he himself had 
doubtless suffered in his flesh had been intended for his welfare, and 
had been very good for him ? But if this were so, it might be that 
the mortification was now removed because the Lord knew that his 
servant had been sufficiently mortified. He had not been starved 
or beaten, but the mortification had been certainly severe. Then there 
came words into his mind, not into his mouth " The Lord sent the 
thorn, and the Lord has taken it away. Blessed be the name of 
the Lord." After that he was very angry with himself, and tried 
to pray that he might be forgiven. While he was so striving there 
came a low knock at the door, and Mrs. Draper again entered the 
room. 

" Dr. Filgrave, my lord, was not at home," said Mrs. Draper ; 
" but he will be sent the very moment he arrives." 

" Very well, Mrs. Draper." 

" But, my lord, will you not come to your dinner ? A little soup, 
or a morsel of something to eat, and a glass of wine, will enable your 
lordship to bear it better." He allowed Mrs. Draper to persuade him, 
and followed her into the dining-room. "Do not go, Mrs. Draper," 
he said; "I would rather that you should stay with me." So 
Mrs. Draper stayed with him, and administered to his wants. He 
was desirous of being seen by as few eyes as possible in these the first 
moments of his freedom. 

He saw Dr. Filgrave twice, both before and after the doctor had 
been upstairs. There was no doubt, Dr. Filgrave said, that it was 
as Mrs. Draper had surmised. The poor lady was suffering, and 

SH 2 



244 THE LAST CHBONICLE OF BAKSET. 

had for years been suffering, from heart-complaint. To her husband 
she had never said a word on the subject. To Mrs. Draper a word had 
been said now and again, a word when some moment of fear would 
come, when some sharp stroke of agony would tell of danger. But 
Mrs. Draper had kept the secret of her mistress, and none of the family 
had known that there was aught to be feared. Dr. Filgrave, indeed, 
did tell the bishop that he had dreaded all along exactly that which had 
happened. He had said the same to Mr. Rerechild, the surgeon, when 
they two had had a consultation together at the palace on the occasion 
of a somewhat alarming birth of a grandchild. But he mixed up this 
information with so much medical Latin, and was so pompous over it, 
and the bishop was so anxious to be rid of him, that his words did not 
have much effect. What did it all matter ? The thorn was gone, and 
the wife was dead, and the widower must balance his gain and loss as 
best he might. 

He slept well, but when he woke in the morning the dreariness of 
his loneliness was very strotfg on him. He must do something, and 
must see somebody, but he felt that he did not know how to bear him- 
self in his new position. He must send of course for his chaplain, and 
tell his chaplain to open all letters and to answer them for a week. 
Then he remembered how many of his letters in days of yore had been 
opened and been answered by the helpmate who had just gone from 
him. Since Dr. Tempest's visit he had insisted that the palace letter- 
bag should always be brought in the first instance to him ; and this 
had been done, greatly to the annoyance of his wife. In order that it 
might be done the bishop had been up every morning an hour before 
his usual time ; and everybody in the household had known why it was 
so. He thought of this now as the bag was brought to him on the first 
morning of his freedom. He could have it where he pleased now ^ 
either in his bedroom or left for him untouched on the breakfast- table 
till he should go to it. " Blessed be the name of the Lord," he said as 
he thought of all this ; but he did not stop to analyse what he was 
saying. On this morning he would not enjoy his liberty, but desired 
that the letter-bag might be taken to Mr. Snapper, the chaplain. 

The news of Mrs. Proudie's death had spread all over Barchester on 
the evening of its occurrence, and had been received with that feeling 
of distant awe which is always accompanied by some degree of pleasur- 
able sensation. There was no one in Barchester to lament a mother, or 
a sister, or a friend who was really loved. There were those, doubtless, 
who regretted the woman's death, and even some who regretted it 
without any feeling of personal damage done to themselves. There had 



IN MEMOBIAM. 245 

come to be around Mrs. Proudie a party who thought as she thought on 
church matters, and such people had lost their head, and thereby their 
strength. And she had been staunch to her own party, preferring bad 
tea from a low-church grocer, to good tea from a grocer who went to 
the ritualistic church or to no church at all. And it is due to her to 
say that she did not forget those who were true to her, looking after 
them mindfully where looking after might be profitable, and fighting 
their battles where fighting might be more serviceable. I do not think 
that the appetite for breakfast of any man or woman in Barchester was 
disturbed by the news of Mrs. Proudie's death, but there were some who 
felt that a trouble had fallen on them. 

Tidings of the catastrophe reached Hiram's Hospital on the evening 
of its occurrence, Hiram's Hospital, where dwelt Mr. and Mrs. 
Quiverful with all their children. Now Mrs. Quiverful owed a debt of 
gratitude to Mrs. Proudie, having been placed in her present comfortable 
home by that lady's patronage. Mrs. Quiverful perhaps understood the 
character of the deceased woman, and expressed her opinion respecting 
it, as graphically as did any one in Barchester. There was the natural 
surprise felt at the Warden's lodge in the Hospital when the tidings were 
first received there, and the Quiverful family was at first too full of 
dismay, regrets and surmises, to be able to give themselves impartially 
to criticism. But on the following morning, conversation at the 
breakfast-table naturally referring to the great loss which the bishop 
had sustained, Mrs. Quiverful thus pronounced her opinion of her 
friend's character : " You'll find that he'll feel it, Q.," she said to her 
husband, in answer to some sarcastic remark made by him as to the 
removal of the thorn. " He'll feel it, though she was almost too many 
for him while she was alive." 

" I daresay he'll feel it at first," said Quiverful ; " but I think he'll 
be more comfortable than he has been." 

" Of course he'll feel it, and go on feeling it till he dies, if he's the 
man I take him to be. You're not to think that there has been no 
love because there used to be some words, that he'll find himself the 
happier because he can do things more as he pleases. She was a great 
help to him, and he must have known that she was, in spite of the 
sharpness of her tongue. No doubt she was sharp. No doubt she was 
upsetting. And she could make herself a fool too in her struggles to 
have everything her own way. But, Q., there were worse women than 
Mrs. Proudie. She was never one of your idle ones, and I'm quite 
sure that no man or woman ever heard her say a word against her 
husband behind his back." 



246 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" All the same, she gave him a terribly bad life of it, if all is true 
that we hear." 

" There are men who must have what you call a terribly bad life of 
it, whatever way it goes with them. The bishop is weak, and he wants 
somebody near to him to be strong. She was strong, perhaps too 
strong ; but he had his advantage out of it. After all I don't know 
that his life has been so terribly bad. I daresay he's had everything 
very comfortable about him. And a man ought to be grateful for that, 
though veiy few men ever are." 

Mr. Quiverful's predecessor at the Hospital, old Mr. Harding, whose 
halcyon days in Barchester had been passed before the coming of the 
Proudies, was in bed playing cat's-cradle with Posy seated on the 
counterpane, when the tidings of Mrs. Proudie's death were brought to 
him by Mrs. Baxter. " Oh, sir," said Mrs. Baxter, seating herself on a 
chair by the bed-side. Mr. Harding liked Mrs. Baxter to sit down, 
because he was almost sure on such occasions to have the advantage of 
a prolonged conversation. 

" What is it, Mrs. Baxter ? " 

"Oh, sir!" 

" Is anything the matter ? " And the old man attempted to raise 
himself in his bed. 

" You mustn't frighten grandpa," said Posy. 

"No, my dear; and there isn't nothing to frighten him. There 
isn't indeed, Mr. Harding. They're all well at Plumstead, and when 
I heard from the missus at Venice, everything was going on well." 

" But what is it, Mrs. Baxter ? " 

" God forgive her all her sins Mrs. Proudie ain't no more." Now 
there had been terrible feud between the palace and the deanery for 
years, in carrying on which the persons of the opposed households were 
wont to express themselves with eager animosity. Mrs. Baxter and 
Mrs. Draper never spoke to each other. The two coachmen each longed 
for an opportunity to take the other before a magistrate for some breach 
of the law of the road in driving. The footmen abused each other, and 
the grooms occasionally fought. The masters and mistresses contented 
themselves with simple hatred. Therefore it was not surprising that 
Mrs. Baxter, in speaking of the death of Mrs. Proudie, should remember 
first her sins. 

" Mrs. Proudie dead ! " said the old man. 

" Indeed she is, Mr. Harding," said Mrs. Baxter, putting both her 
hands together piously. " We're just grass, ain't we, sir ! and dust 
and clay and flowers of the field ? " Whether Mrs. Proudie had most 



IN MEMOEIAM. 247 

partaken of the clayey nature or of the flowery nature, Mrs. Baxter did 
not stop to consider. 

" Mrs. Proudie dead ! " said Posy, with a solemnity that was all her 
own. " Then she won't scold the poor bishop any more." 

" No, my dear ; she won't scold anybody any more ; and it will be 
a blessing for some, I must say. Everybody is always so considerate 
in this house, Miss Posy, that we none of us know nothing about what 
that is." 

" Dead ! " said Mr. Harding again. " I think, if you please, Mrs. 
Baxter, you shall leave me for a little time, and take Miss Posy with 
you." He had been in the city of Barchester some fifty years, and here 
was one who might have been his daughter, who had come there scarcely 
ten years since, and who now had gone before him ! He had never 
loved Mrs. Proudie. Perhaps he had gone as near to disliking Mrs. 
Proudie as he had ever gone to disliking any person. Mrs. Proudie had 
wounled him in every part that was most sensitive. It would be long 
to tell, nor need it be told now, how she had ridiculed his cathedral work, 
how she had made nothing of him, how she had despised him, always 
manifesting her contempt plainly. He had been even driven to rebuke 
her, and it had perhaps been the only personal rebuke which he had 
ever uttered in Barchester. But now she was gone ; and he thought of 
her simply as an active pious woman, who had been taken away from 
her work before her time. And for the bishop, no idea ever entered 
Mr. Harding' s mind as to the removal of a thorn. The man had lost 
his life's companion at that time of life when such a companion is most 
needed ; and Mr. Harding grieved for him with sincerity. 

The news went out to Plumstead Episcopi by the postman, and 
happened to reach the archdeacon as he was talking to his rector at the 
little gate leading into the churchyard. " Mrs. Proudie dead ! " he 
almost shouted, as the postman notified the fact to him. " Impossible ! " 

"It be so for zartain, yer reverence," said the postman, who was 
proud of his news. 

" Heavens ! " ejaculated the archdeacon, and then hurried in to his 
wife. "My dear," he said and as he spoke he could hardly deliver 
himself of his words, so eager was he to speak them "who do you 
think is dead ? Gracious heavens ! Mrs. Proudie is dead ! " Mrs. 
Grantly dropped from her hand the teaspoonful of tea that was just 
going into the pot, and repeated her husband's words. " Mrs. Proudie 
dead ? " There was a pause, during which they, looked into each other's 
faces. " My dear, I don't believe it," said Mrs. Grantly. 

But she did believe it very shortly. There were no prayers at 



248 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BASSET. 

Plurnstead rectory that morning. The archdeacon immediately went 
out into the village, and soon obtained sufficient evidence of the truth 
of that which the postman had told him. Then he rushed back to his 
wife. " It's true," he said. " It's quite true. She's dead. There's 
no doubt about that. She's dead. It was last night about seven. 
That was when they found her, at least, and she may have died about 
an hour before. Filgrave says not more than an hour." 

" And how did she die ? " 

" Heart- complaint. She was standing up, taking hold of the bed- 
stead, and so they found her." Then there was a pause, during which 
the archdeacon sat down to his breakfast. " I wonder how he felt when 
he heard it?" 

" Of course he was terribly shocked." 

" I've no doubt he was shocked. Any man would be shocked. But 
when you come to think of it, what a relief! " 

" How can you speak of it in that way ? " said Mrs. Grantly. 

" How am I to speak of it in any other way ? " said the archdeacon. 
" Of course I shouldn't go and say it out in the street." 

" I don't think you ought to say it anywhere," said Mrs. Grantly. 
" The poor man no doubt feels about his wife in the same way that 
anybody else would." 

" And if any other poor man has got such a wife as she was, you 
may be quite sure that he would be glad to be rid of her. I don't say 
that he wished her to die, or that he would have done anything to 
contrive her death " 

" Gracious, archdeacon ; do, pray, hold your tongue." 

" But it stands to reason that her going will be a great relief to 
him. What has she done for him ? She has made him contemptible 
to everybody in the diocese by her interference, and his life has been 
a burden to him through her violence." 

" Is that the way you carry out your proverb of De mortuis ? " said 
Mrs. Grantly. 

" The proverb of De mortuis is founded on humbug. Humbug out 
of doors is necessary. It would not do for you and me to go into the 
High Street just now and say what we think about Mrs. Proudie ; but 
I don't suppose that kind of thing need be kept up in here, between 
you and me. She was an uncomfortable woman, so uncomfortable 
that I cannot believe that any one will regret her. Dear me 1 Only to 
think that she has gone ! You may as well give me my tea." 

I do not think that Mrs. Grantly 's opinion differed much from that 
expressed by her husband, or that she was, in truth, the least offended 



IN MEMOPJAM. 249 

by tho archdeacon's plain speech. But it must be remembered that 
there was probably no house in the diocese in which Mrs. Proudie had 
been so thoroughly ha,ted as she had been at the Plumstead rectory. 
There had been hatred at the deanery ; but the hatred at the deanery 
had been mild in comparison with the hatred at Plumstead. The 
archdeacon was a sound friend ; but he was also a sound enemy. 
From the very first arrival of the Proudies at Barchester, Mrs. Proudie 
had thrown down her gauntlet to him, and he had not been slow in 
picking it up. The war had been internecine, and each had given the 
other terrible wounds. It had been understood that there should be 
no quarter, and there had been none. His enemy was now dead, and 
the archdeacon could not bring himself to adopt before his wife the 
namby-pamby every- day decency of speaking well of one of whom he 
had ever thought ill, or of expressing regret when no regret could be 
felt. " May all her sins be forgiven her," said Mrs. Grantly. 
" Amen," said the archdeacon. There was something in the tone of 
his Amen which thoroughly implied that it was uttered only on the 
understanding that her departure from the existing world was to be 
regarded as an unmitigated good, and that she should, at any rate, 
never come back again to Barchester. 

When Lady Lufton heard the tidings, she was not so bold in 
speaking of it as was her friend the archdeacon. " Mrs. Proudie 
dead ! " she said to her daughter-in-law. This was some hours after 
the news had reached the house, and when the fact of the poor lady's 
death had been fully recognized. " What will he do without her ? " 

" The same as other men do," said young Lady Lufton. 

" But, my dear, he is not the same as other men. He is not at all 
like other men. He is so weak that he cannot walk without a stick to 
lean upon. No doubt she was a virago, a woman who could not 
control her temper for a moment ! No doubt she had led him a terrible 
life ! I have often pitied him with all my heart. But, nevertheless, 
she was useful to him. I suppose she was useful to him. I can 
hardly believe that Mrs. Proudie is dead. Had he gone, it would have 
seemed so much more natural. Poor woman. I daresay she had her 
good points." The reader will be pleased to remember that the Luftons 
had ever been strong partisans on the side of the Grantlys. 

The news made its way even to Hoggle stock on the same day. 
Mrs. Crawley, when she heard it, went out after her husband, who was 
in the school. " Dead ! " said he, in answer to her whisper. " Do 
you tell me that the woman is dead ? " Then Mrs. Crawley explained 
that the tidings were credible. " May God forgive her all her sins," 



250 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

said Mr. Crawley. " She was a violent woman, certainly, and I think 
that she misunderstood her duties ; but I do not say that she was a 
bad woman. I am inclined to think that she was earnest in her 
endeavours to do good." It never occurred to Mr. Crawley that he 
and his affair had, in truth, been the cause of her death. 

It was thus that she was spoken of for a few days ; and then men 
and women ceased to speak much of her, and began to talk of the 
bishop instead. A month had not passed before it was surmised that 
a man so long accustomed to the comforts of married life would many 
again ; and even then one lady connected with low- church clergymen 
in and around the city was named as a probable successor to the great 
lady who was gone. For myself, I am inclined to think that the 
bishop will for the future be content to lean upon his chaplain. 

The monument that was put up to our old friend's memory in one 
of the side aisles of the choir of the cathedral was supposed to be 
designed and executed in good taste. There was a broken column, 
and on the column simply the words, " My beloved wife ! " Then 
there was a slab by the column, bearing Mrs. Proudie's name, with 
the date of her life and death. Beneath this was the common 
inscription, 

" Requiescat in pace," 



CHAPTER LXYIH. 
THE OBSTINACY OF MB. CRAWLEY. 

DR. TEMPEST, when he heard the news, sent immediately to Mr. 
Robarts, begging him to come over to Silverbridge. But this message 
was not occasioned solely by the death of Mrs. Proudie. Dr. Tempest 
had also heard that Mr. Crawley had submitted himself to the bishop, 
that instant advantage, and as Dr. Tempest thought, unfair advantage, 
had been taken of Mr. Crawley's submission, and that the pernicious 
Thumble had been at once sent over to Hogglestock. Had these 
palace doings with reference to Mr. Crawley been unaccompanied by 
the catastrophe which had happened, the doctor, much as he might 
have regretted them, would probably have felt that there was nothing 
to be done. He could not in such case have prevented Thumble 's 
journey to Hogglestock on the next Sunday, and certainly he could not 
have softened the heart of the presiding genius at the palace. But 
things were very different now. The presiding genius was gone. 
Everybody at the palace would for a while be weak and vacillating. 
Thumble would be then thoroughly cowed ; and it might at any rate 
be possible to make sonic movement in Mr. Crawley's favour. Dr. 
Tempest, therefore, sent for Mr. Robarts. 

" I'm giving you a great deal of trouble, Robarts," said the doctor ; 
" but then you are so much younger than I am, and I've an idea that 
you would do more for this poor man than anyone else in the diocese." 
Mr. Robarts of course declared that he did not begrudge his trouble, 
and that he would do anything in his power for the poor man. " I 
think that you should see him again, and that you should then see 
Thumble also. I don't know whether you can condescend to be civil 
to Thumble. I could not." 

" I am not quite sure that incivility would not be more efficacious," 
said Mr. Robarts. 

" Very likely. There are men who are deaf as adders to courtesy, 
but who are compelled to obedience at once by ill-usage. Very likely 
Thumble is one of them ; but of that you will be the best judge your- 
self. I would see Crawley first, and get his consent." 

" That's the difficulty." 

"Then I should go on without his consent, and I would see 



252 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Thuinble and the bishop's chaplain, Snapper. I think you might manage 
just at this moment, when they will all be a little abashed and perplexed 
by this woman's death, to arrange that simply nothing shall be done. 
The great thing will be that Crawley should go on with the duty till 
the assizes. If it should then happen that he goes into Barchester, 
is acquitted, and comes back again, the whole thing will be over, and 
there will be no further interference in the parish. If I were you, I 
think I would try it." Mr. Kobarts said that he would try it. "I 
daresay Mr. Crawley will be a little stiff-necked with you." 

" He will be veiy stiff-necked with me," said Mr. Kobarts. 

"But I can hardly think that he will throw away the only means 
he has of supporting his wife and children, when he finds that there can 
be no occasion for his doing so. I do not suppose that any person 
wishes him to throw up his work now that that poor woman has gone." 

Mr. Crawley had been almost in good spirits since the last visit 
which Mr. Thumble had made to him. It seemed as though the loss 
of everything in the world was in some way satisfactory to him. He 
had now given up his living by his own doing, and had after a fashion 
acknowledged his guilt by this act. He had proclaimed to all around 
him that he did not think himself to be any longer fit to perform the 
sacred functions of his office. He spoke of his trial as though a verdict 
against him must be the result. He knew that in going into prison he 
would leave his wife and children dependent on the charity of their 
friends, on charity which they must condescend to accept, though he 
could not condescend to ask it. And yet he was able to carry himself 
now with a greater show of fortitude than had been within his power 
when the extent of his calamity was more doubtful. I must not ask 
the reader to suppose that he was cheerful. To have been cheerful 
under such circumstances would have been inhuman. But he carried 
his head on high, and walked firmly, and gave his orders at home with 
a clear voice. His wife, who was necessarily more despondent than 
ever, wondered at him, but wondered in silence. It certainly seemed 
as though the very extremity of ill-fortune was good for him. And he 
was very diligent with his school, passing the greater part of the morn- 
ing with the children. Mr. Thumble had told him that he would come 
on Sunday, and that he would then take charge of the parish. Up to 
the coming of Mr. Thumble he would do everything in the parish that 
could be done by a clergyman with a clear spirit and a free heart. Mr. 
Thumble should not find that spiritual weeds had grown rank in the 
parish because of his misfortunes. 

Mrs. Proudie had died on the Tuesday, that having been the day 



THE OBSTINACY OF ME. CRAWLEY. 253 

of Mr. Thmnble's visit to Hogglestock, and Mr. Kobarts had gone over 
to Silverbridge, in answer to Dr. Tempest's invitation, on the Thursday. 
He had not, therefore, the command of much time, it being his express 
object to prevent the appearance of Mr. Thumble at Hogglestock on 
the next Sunday. He had gone to Silverbridge by railway, and had, 
therefore, been obliged to postpone his visit to Mr. Crawley till the 
next day ; but early on the Friday morning he rode over to Hoggle- 
stock. That he did not arrive there with a broken-knee'd horse, the 
reader may be quite sure. In all matters of that sort, Mr. Robarts was 
ever above reproach. He rode a good horse, and drove a neat gig, 
and was always well dressed. On this account Mr. Crawley, though 
he really liked Mr. Robarts, and was thankful to him for many kind- 
nesses, could never bear his presence with perfect equanimity. Robarts 
was no scholar, was not a great preacher, had obtained no celebrity as 
a churchman, had, in fact, done nothing to merit great reward ; and 
yet everything had been given to him with an abundant hand. Within 
the last twelvemonth his wife had inherited Mr. .Crawley did not care 
to know how many thousand pounds. And yet Mr. Robarts had won 
all that he possessed by being a clergyman. Was it possible that Mr. 
Crawley should regard such a man with equanimity ? Robarts rode 
over with a groom behind him, really taking the groom because he 
knew that Mr. Crawley would have no one to hold Jiis horse for him ; 
and the groom was the source of great offence. He came upon Mr. 
Crawley standing at the school door, and stopping at once, jumped off 
his nag. There was something in the way in which he sprang out of 
the saddle and threw the reins to the man, which was not clerical in 
Mr. Crawley's eyes. No man could be so quick in the matter of a 
horse who spent as many hours with the poor and with the children as 
should be spent by a parish clergyman. It might be probable that 
Mr. Robarts had never stolen twenty pounds, might never be accused 
of so disgraceful a crime, but, nevertheless, Mr. Crawley had his own 
ideas, and made his own comparisons. 

" Crawley," said Robarts, "I am so glad to find you at home." 

" I am generally to be found in the parish," said the perpetual 
curate of Hogglestock. 

" I know you are," said Robarts, who knew the man well, and cared 
nothing for his friend's peculiarities when he felt his own withers to be 
unwrung. "But you might have been down at Hoggle End with the 
brickmakers, and then I should have had to go after you." 

" I should have grieved ," began Crawley ; but Robarts inter- 
rupted him at once. 



254 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAKSET. 

" Let us go for a walk, and I'll leave the man with the horses. 
I've something special to say to you, and I can say it better out here 
than in the house. Grace is quite well, and sends her love. She is 
growing to look so beautiful ! " 

"I hope she may grow in grace with God," said Mr. Crawley. 
\ " She's as good a girl as I ever knew. By-the-by, you had Henry 
' Grantly over here the other day ? " 

" Major Grantly, whom I cannot name without expressing my esteem 
for him, did do us the honour of calling upon us not very long since. 
If it be with reference to him that you have taken this trouble " 

" No, no ; not at all. I'll allow him and the ladies to fight out that 
battle. I've not the least doubt in the world how that will go. When 
I'm told that she made a complete conquest of the archdeacon, there 
cannot be a doubt about that." 

" A conquest of the archdeacon ! " 

But Mr. Robarts did not wish to have to explain anything further 
about the archdeacon. " Were you not terribly shocked, Crawley," he 
asked, " when you heard of the death of Mrs. Proudie ? " 

" It was sudden and very awful," said Mr. Crawley. " Such deaths 
are always shocking. Not more so, perhaps, as regards the wife of a 
bishop, than with any other woman." 

" Only we happened to know her." 

" No doubt the finite and meagre nature of our feelings does prevent 
us from extending our sympathies to those whom we have not seen in 
the flesh. It should not be so, and would not with one who had 
nurtured his heart with proper care. And we are prone to permit an 
evil worse than that to canker our regards and to foster and to mar our 
solicitudes. Those who are high in station strike us more by their joys 
and sorrows than do the poor and lowly. Were some young duke's 
wife, wedded but the other day, to die, all England would put on some 
show of mourning, nay, would feel some true gleam of pity ; but 
nobody cares for the widowed brickmaker seated with his starving 
infant on his cold hearth." 

" Of course we hear more of the big people," said Robarts. 

"Ay; and think more of them. But do not suppose, sir, that I 
complain of this man or that woman because his sympathies, or hers, 
uns out of that course which my reason tells me they should hold, 
fhe man with whom it would not be so would simply be a god among 
men. It is in his perfection as a man that we recognize the divinity 
of Christ. It is in the imperfection of men that we recognize our 
necessity for a Christ. Yes, sir, the death of the poor lady at Bar- 



THE OBSTINACY OF MB. CRAWLEY. 255 

Chester was very sudden. I hope that my lord the bishop bears with 
becoming fortitude the heavy misfortune. They say that he was a 
man much beholden to his wife, prone to lean upon her in his goings 
out and comings in. For such a man such a loss is more dreadful 
perhaps than for another." 

" They say she led him a terrible life, you know." 

" I am not prone, sir, to believe much of what I hear about the 
domesticities of other men, knowing how little any other man can 
know of my own. And I have, methinks, observed a proneness in the 
world to ridicule that dependence on a woman which every married 
man should acknowledge in regard to the wife of his bosom, if he can 
trust her as well as love her. When I hear jocose proverbs spoken as 
to men, such as that in this house the gray mare is the better horse, 
or that in that house the wife wears that garment which is supposed 
to denote virile command, knowing that the joke is easy, and that 
meekness in a man is more truly noble than a habit of stern authority, 
I do not allow them to go far with me in influencing my judgment." 

So spoke Mr. Crawley, who never permitted the slightest interference 
with his own word in his own family, and who had himself been a witness 
of one of those scenes between the bishop and his wife in which the 
poor bishop had been so cruelly misused. But to Mr. Crawley the thing 
which he himself had seen under such circumstances was as sacred as 
though it had come to him under the seal of confession. In speaking 
of the bishop and Mrs. Proudie, nay, as far as was possible in think- 
ing of them, he was bound to speak and to think as though he had 
not witnessed that scene in the palace study. 

" I don't suppose that there is much doubt about her real character," 
said Kobarts. " But you and I need not discuss that." 

"By no means. Such discussion would be both useless and 
unseemly." 

" And just at present there is something else that I specially want 
to say to you. Indeed, I went to Silverbridge on the same subject 
yesterday, and have come here expressly to have a little conversation 
with you." 

1 ' If it be about affairs of mine, Mr. Robarts, I am indeed troubled 
in spirit that so great labour should have fallen upon you." 

" Never mind my labour. Indeed your saying that is a nuisance 
to me, because I hoped that by this time you would have understood 
that I regard you as a friend, and that I think nothing any trouble that 
I do for a friend. Your position just now is so peculiar that it requires 
a great deal of oare." 



256 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" No care can be of any avail to me." 

" There I disagree with you. You must excuse me, but I do ; 
and so does Dr. Tempest. We think that you have been a little too 
much in a hurry since he communicated to you the result of our first 
meeting." 

" As how, sir?' 

" It is, perhaps, hardly worth while for us to go into the whole ques- 
tion; but that man, Thumble, must not come here on next Sunday." 

" I cannot say, Mr. Eobarts, that the Reverend Mr. Thumble has 
recommended himself to me strongly either by his outward symbols of 
manhood or by such manifestation of his inward mental gifts as I have 
succeeded in obtaining. But my knowledge of him has been so slight, 
and has been acquired in a manner so likely to bias me prejudicially 
against him, that I am inclined to think my opinion should go for 
nothing. It is, however, the fact that the bishop has nominated him 
to this duty ; and that, as I have myself simply notified my desire to 
be relieved from the care of the parish, on account of certain unfitness 
of my own, I am the last man who should interfere with the bishop in 
the choice of my temporary successor." 

" It was her choice, not his." 

" Excuse me, Mr. Robarts, but I cannot allow that assertion to 
pass unquestioned. I must say that I have adequate cause for believing 
that he came here by his lordship's authority." 

" No doubt he did. Will you just listen to me for a moment ? 
Ever since this unfortunate affair of the cheque became known, Mrs. 
Proudie has been anxious to get you out of this parish. She was a 
violent woman, and chose to take this matter up violently. Pray hear 
me out before you interrupt me. There would have been no commission 
at all but for her." 

" The commission is right and proper and just," said Mr. Crawloy, 
who could not keep himself silent. 

" Very well. Let it be so. But Mr. Thumble 's coming over here 
is- not proper or right; and you may be sure the bishop does not 
wish it." 

"Let him send any other clergyman whom he may think more 
fitting," said Mr. Crawley. 

" But we do not want him to send anybody." 

" Somebody must be sent, Mr. Robarts." 

" No, not so. Let me go over and see Thumble and Snapper, 
Snapper, you know, is the domestic chaplain ; and all that you need do 
is to go on with your services on Sunday. If necessary, I will see the 



THE OBSTINACY OF ME. CRAWLET. 257 

bishop. I think you may be sure that I can manage it. If not, I will 
come back to you." Mr. Kobarts paused for an answer, but it seemed 
for awhile that all Mr. Crawley's impatient desire to speak was over. 
He walked on silently along the lane by his visitor's side, and when, 
after some five or six minutes, Kobarts stood still in the road, Mr. 
Crawley even then said nothing. "It cannot be but that you should 
be anxious to keep the income of the parish for your wife and children," 
said Mark Eobarts. 

" Of course, I am anxious for my wife and children," Crawley 
answered. 

" Then let me do as I say. Why should you throw away a chance, 
even if it be a bad one ? But here the chance is all in your favour. 
Let me manage it for you at Barchester." 

" Of course I am anxious for my wife and children," said Crawley, 
repeating his words ; " how anxious, I fancy no man can conceive who 
has not been near enough to absolute want to know how terrible is its 
approach when it threatens those who are weak and who are very dear ! 
But, Mr. Robarts, you spoke just now of the chance of the thing, the 
chance of your arranging on my behalf that I should for a while longer 
be left in the enjoyment of the freehold of my parish. It seemeth to 
me that there- should be no chance on such a subject ; that in the 
adjustment of so momentous a matter there should be a consideration 
of right and wrong, and no consideration of aught beside. I have been 
growing to feel, for some weeks past, that circumstances, whether 
through my own fault or not is an outside question as to which I will 
not further delay you by offering even an opinion, that unfortunate 
circumstances have made me unfit to remain here as guardian of the 
souls of the people of this parish. Then there came to me the letter from 
Dr. Tempest, for which I am greatly beholden to him, strengthening 
me altogether in this view. What could I do then, Mr. Eobarts? 
Could I allow myself to think of my wife and my children when such a 
question as that was before me for self- discussion ? " 

"I would, certainly," said Robarts. 

"No, sir! Excuse the bluntness of my contradiction, but I feel 
assured that in such emergency you would look solely to duty, as by 
God's help, I will endeavour to do. Mr. Robarts, there are many of us 
who in many things, are much worse than we believe ourselves to be. 
But in other matters, and perhaps of larger moment, we can rise to 
ideas of duty as the need for such ideas comes upon us. I say not this 
at all as praising myself. I speak of men as I believe that they will be 
found to be ; of yourself, of myself, and of others who strive to live 

II. XXVII. t3 I 



258 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

with clean hands and a clear conscience. I do not for a moment think 
that you would retain your benefice at Framley if there had come upon 
you, after much thought, an assured conviction that you could not 
retain it without grievous injury to the souls of others and grievous sin 
to your own. Wife and children, dear as they are to you and to me, 
as dear to me as to you, fade from the sight when the time comes 
for judgment on such a matter as that!" They were standing quite 
still now, facing each other, and Crawley, as he spoke with a low voice, 
looked straight into his friend's eyes, and kept his hand firmly fixed on 
his friend's arm. 

" I cannot interfere further," said Kobarts. 

1 'No, you cannot interfere further." Bobarts, when he told the 
story of the interview to his wife that evening, declared that he had 
never heard a voice so plaintively touching as was the voice of Mr. 
Crawley when he uttered those last words. 

They returned back to the servant and the house almost without a 
word, and Kobarts mounted without offering to see Mrs. Crawley. Nor 
did Mr. Crawley ask him to do so. It was better now that Rob arts 
should go. "May God send you through all your troubles," said 
Mr. Robarts. 

" Mr. Robarts, I thank you warmly, for your friendship," said 
Mr. Crawley. And then they parted. In about half an hour Mr. 
Crawley returned to the house. " Now for Pindar, Jane," he said, 
seating himself at his old desk. 



CHAPTER LXIX. 

MR. CEAWLETS LAST APPEARANCE IN HIS OWN PULPIT. 

No word or message from Mr. Crawley reached Barchester throughout 
the week, and on the Sunday morning Mr. Thumble was under a positive 
engagement to go out to Hogglestock, and perform the services of the 
church. Dr. Tempest had been quite right in saying that Mr. Thumble 
would be awed by the death of his patroness. Such was altogether the 
case, and he was very anxious to escape from the task he had under- 
taken at her instance, if it were possible. In the first place, he had 
never been a favourite with the bishop himself, and had now, therefore, 
nothing to expect in the diocese. The crusts from bits of loaves and 
the morsels of broken fishes which had come in his way had all come 
from the bounty of Mrs. Proudie. And then, as regarded this special 
Hogglestock job, how was he to get paid for it ? Whence, indeed, was 
he to seek repayment for the actual money which he would be out of 
pocket in finding his way to Hogglestock and back again ? But he 
could not get to speak to the bishop, nor could he induce any one who 
had access to his lordship to touch upon the subject. Mr. Snapper 
avoided him as much as possible ; and Mr. Snapper, when he was 
caught and interrogated, declared that he regarded the matter as settled. 
Nothing could be in worse taste, Mr. Snapper thought, than to undo, 
immediately after the poor lady's death, work in the diocese which had 
been arranged and done by her. Mr. Snapper expressed his opinion 
that Mr. Thumble was bound to go out to Hogglestock ; and, when 
Mr. Thumble declared petulantly that he would not stir a step out of 
Barchester, Mr. Snapper protested that Mr. Thumble would have to 
answer for it in this world and in the next if there were no services at 
Hogglestock on that Sunday. On the Saturday evening Mr. Thumble 
made a desperate attempt to see the bishop, but was told by Mrs. Draper 
that the bishop had positively declined to see him. The bishop himself 
probably felt unwilling to interfere with his wife's doings so soon after 
her death ! So Mr. Thumble, with a heavy heart, went across to "The 
Dragon of Wantly," and ordered a gig, resolving that the bill should be 
sent in to the palace. He was not going to trust himself again upon the 
bishop's cob ! 



2 GO THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAKSET. 

Up to Saturday evening Mr. Crawley did the work of his parish, and 
on the Saturday evening he made an address to his parishioners from 
his pulpit. He had given notice among the brickmakers and labourers 
that he wished to say a few words to them in the school-room ; but the 
farmers also heard of this and came with their wives and daughters, and 
all the brickmakers came, and most of the labourers were there, so that 
there was no room for them in the school-house. The congregation 
was much larger than was customary even in the church. " They will 
come," he said to his wife, " to hear a ruined man declare his own ruin, 
but they will not come to hear the word of God." When it was found 
that the persons assembled were too many for the school-room, the 
meeting was adjourned to the church, and Mr. Crawley was forced to 
get into his pulpit. He said a short prayer, and then he began his 
story. 

His story as he told it then shall not be repeated now, as the same 
story has been told too often already in these pages. Surely it was a 
singular story for a parish clergyman to tell of himself in so solemn a 
manner. That he had applied the cheque to his own purposes, and 
was unable to account for the possession of it, was certain. He did not 
know when or how he had got it. Speaking to them then in God's 
house he told them that. He was to be tried by a jury, and all he could 
do was to tell the jury the same. He would not expect the jury to 
believe him. The jury would, of course, believe only that which was 
proved to them. But he did expect his old friends at Hogglestock, who 
had known him so long, to take his word as true. That there was no 
sufficient excuse for his conduct, even in his own sight, this, his volun- 
tary resignation of his parish, was, he said, sufficient evidence. Then 
he explained to them, as clearly as he was able, what the bishop had 
done, what the commission had done, and what he had done himself. 
That he spoke no word of Mrs. Proudie to that audience need hardly be 
mentioned here. " And now, dearest friends, I leave you," he said, 
with that weighty solemnity which was so peculiar to the man, and 
which he was able to make singularly impressive even on such a "con- 
gregation as that of Hogglestock, " and I trust that the heavy but 
pleasing burden of the charge which I have had over you may fall into 
hands better fitted than mine have been for such work. I have always 
known my own unfitness, by reason of the worldly cares with which I 
have been laden. Poverty makes the spirit poor, and the hands weak, 
and the heart sore, and too often makes the conscience dull. May the 
latter never be the case with any of you." Then he uttered another 
short prayer, and, stepping down from the pulpit, walked out of the 




" THEY WILL COME TO HEAR A RDINED MAN DECLARE HIS OWN RUIN. 



ME. CRAWLEY'S LAST APPEARANCE IN HIS OWN PULPIT. 261 

church, with his weeping wife hanging on his arm, and his daughter 
following them, almost dissolved in tears. He never again entered that 
church as the pastor of the congregation. 

There was an old lame man from Hoggle End leaning on his stick 
near the door as Mr. Crawley went out, and with him was his old lame 
wife. " He'll pull through yet," said the old man to his wife ; " you'll 
see else. He'll pull through because he's so dogged. It's dogged as 
does it." 

On that night the position of the members of Mr. Crawley's 
household seemed to have been changed. There was something 
almost of elation in his mode of speaking, and he said soft loving 
words, striving to comfort his wife. She, on the other hand, could 
say nothing to comfort him. She had been averse to the step he was 
taking, but had been unable to press her objection in opposition to his 
great argument as to duty. Since he had spoken to her in that strain 
which he had used with Robarts, she also had felt that she must be 
silent. But she could not even feign to feel the pride which comes from 
the performance of a duty. " What will he do when he comes out ?" 
she said to her daughter. The coming out spoken of by her was 
the coming out of prison. It was natural enough that she should feel 
no elation. 

The breakfast on Sunday morning was to her, perhaps, the saddest 
scene of her life. They sat down, the three together, at the usual 
hour, nine o'clock, but the morning had not been passed as was 
customary on Sundays. It had been Mr. Crawley's practice to go into 
the school from eight to nine ; but on this Sunday he felt, as he told 
his wife, that his presence would be an intrusion there. But he 
requested Jane to go and perform her usual task. " If Mr. Thumble 
should come," he said to her, " be submissive to him in all things." 
Then he stood at his door, watching to see at what hour Mr. Thumble 
would reach the school. But Mr. Thumble did not attend the school 
on that morning. " And yet he was very express to me in his desire 
that I would not myself meddle with the duties," said Mr. Crawley to 
his wife as he stood at the door, " unnecessarily urgent, as I must 
say I thought at the time." If Mrs. Crawley could have spoken out 
her thoughts about Mr. Thumble at that moment, her words would,. 
I think, have surprised her husband. 

At breakfast there was hardly a word spoken. Mr. Crawley took 
his crust and eat it mournfully, almost ostentatiously. Jane tried and 
failed, and tried to hide her failure, failing in that also. Mrs. Crawley 
made no attempt. She sat behind her old teapot, with her hands 



62 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

clasped and her eyes fixed. It was as though some last day had come 
upon her, this, the first Sunday of her husband's degradation. 
" Mary," he said to her, " why do you not eat ?" 

"I cannot," she replied, speaking not in a whisper, but in words 
which would hardly get themselves articulated. "I cannot. Do not 
ask me." 

" For the honour of the Lord you will want the strength which 
bread alone can give you," he said, intimating to her that he wished 
her to attend the service. 

" Do not ask me to be there, Josiah. I cannot. It is too much 
for me." 

" Nay ; I will not press it," he said. " I can go alone." He 
uttered no word expressive of a wish that his daughter should attend 
the church ; but when the moment came, Jane accompanied him. 
" What shall I do, mamma," she said, "if I find I cannot bear it?" 
" Try to bear it," the mother said. " Try, for his sake. You are 
stronger now than I am." 

The tinkle of the church bell was heard at the usual time, and 
Mr. Crawley, hat in hand, stood ready to go forth. He had heard 
nothing of Mr. Thumble, but had made up his mind that Mi*. 
Thumble would not trouble him. He had taken the precaution 
to request his churchwarden to be early at the church, so that 
Mr. Thumble might encounter no difficulty. The church was very 
near to the house, and any vehicle arriving might have been seen 
had Mr. Crawley watched closely. But no one had cared to watch 
Mr. Thumble's arrival at the church. He did not doubt that Mr. 
Thumble would be at the church. With reference to the school, he 
had had some doubt. 

But just as he was about to start he heard the clatter of a gig. 
Up came Mr. Thumble to the door of the parsonage, and having 
come down from his gig was about to enter the house as though it 
were his own. Mr. Crawley greeted him in the pathway, raising his 
hat from his head, and expressing a wish that Mr. Thumble might not 
feel himself fatigued with his drive. " I will not ask you into my 
poor house," he said, standing in the middle of the pathway ; " for 
that my wife is ill." 

" Nothing catching, I hope ? " said Mr. Thumble. 

"Her malady is of the spirit rather than of the flesh," said Mr. 
Crawley. " Shall we go on to the church ? " 

" Certainly, by all means. How about the surplice ? " 

!' You will find, I trust, that the churchwarden has everything in 



ME. CEAWLEY'S LAST APPEAEANCE IN HIS OWN PULPIT. 263 

readiness. I have notified to him expressly your coming, with the 
purport that it may be so." 

" You'll take a part in the service, I suppose ? " said Mr. Thumble. 

" No part, no part whatever," said Mr. Crawley, standing still for 
a moment as he spoke, and showing plainly by the tone of his voice 
how dismayed he was, how indignant he had been made, by so indecent 
a proposition. Was he giving up his pulpit to a stranger for any 
reason less cogent than one which made it absolutely imperative on him 
to be silent in that church which had so long been his own ? 

" Just as you please," said Mr. Thumble. " Only it's rather hard 
lines to have to do it all myself after Doming all the way from Barchester 
this morning." To this Mr. Crawley condescended to make no reply 
whatever. 

In the porch of the church, which was the only entrance, Mr. 
Crawley introduced Mr. Thumble to the churchwarden, simply by a 
wave of the hand, and then passed on with his daughter to a seat which 
opened upon the aisle. Jane was going on to that which she had 
hitherto always occupied with her mother in the little chancel ; but 
Mr. Crawley would not allow this. Neither to him nor to any of his 
family was there attached any longer the privilege of using the chancel 
of the church of Hogglestock. 

Mr. Thumble scrambled into the reading-desk some ten minutes 
after the proper time, and went through the morning service under, 
what must be admitted to be, serious difficulties. There were the eyes 
of Mr. Crawley fixed upon him throughout the work, and a feeling 
pervaded him that everybody there regarded him as an intruder. At 
first this was so strong upon him that Mr. Crawley pitied him, and 
would have encouraged him had it been possible. But as the work 
progressed, and as custom and the sound of his own voice emboldened 
him, there came to the man some touches of the arrogance which so 
generally accompanies cowardice, and Mr. Crawley's acute ear detected 
the moment when it was so. An observer might have seen that the 
motion of his hands was altered as they were lifted in prayer. Though 
he was praying, even in prayer he could not forget the man who was 
occupying his desk. 

Then came the sermon, preached very often before, lasting exactly 
half-an-hour, and then Mr. Thumble's work was done. Itinerant 
clergymen, who preach now here and now there, as it had been the lot 
of Mr. Thumble to do, have at any rate this relief, that they can 
preach their sermons often. From the communion-table Mr. Thumble 
had stated that, in the present peculiar circumstances of the parish, 



264 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

there would be no second service at Hogglestock for the present ; and 
this was all he said or did peculiar to the occasion. The moment the 
service was over he got into his gig, and was driven back to Barchester. 

" Mamma," said Jane, as they sat at their dinner, " such a sermon 
I am sure was never heard in Hogglestock before. Indeed, you can 
hardly call it a sermon. It was downright nonsense." 

" My dear," said Mr. Crawley, energetically, "keep your criticisms 
for matters that are profane ; then, though they be childish and silly, 
they may at least be innocent. Be critical on Euripides, if you must 
be critical." But when Jane kissed her father after dinner, she, knowing 
his humour well, felt assured that her remarks had not been taken 
altogether in ill part. 

Mr. Thumble was neither seen nor heard of again in the parish 
during the entire week. 



CHAPTEK LXX. 



UBS. AEAEIN IS CAUGHT. 

iNE morning about the middle 
of April Mr. Toogood received 
a telegram from Venice which 
caused him instantly to leave 
his business in Bedford Eow 
and take the first train for 
Silverbridge. " It seems to 
me that this job will be a deal 
of time and very little money," 
said his partner to him, when 
Toogood on the spur of the 
moment was making arrange- 
ments for his sudden departure 
and uncertain period of absence. 
" That's about it," said Too- 
good. " A deal of time, some 
expense, and no returns. It's 
not the kind of business a 
man can live upon ; is it ? " The partner growled, and Toogood 
went. But as we must go with Mr. Toogood down to Silverbridge, and 
as we cannot make the journey in this chapter, we will just indicate his 
departure and then go back to JohnEames, who, as will be remembered, 
was just starting for Florence when we last saw him. 

Our dear old friend Johnny had been rather proud of himself as he 
started from London. He had gotten an absolute victory over Sir Raffle 
Buffle, and that alone was gratifying to his feelings. He liked the excite- 
ment of a journey, and especially of a journey to Italy ; and the importance 
of the cause of his journey was satisfactory to him. But above all things 
he was delighted at having found that Lily Dale was pleased at his going. 
He had seen clearly that she was much pleased, and that she made 
something of a hero of him because of his alacrity in the cause of his 
cousin. He had partially understood, had understood in a dim sort 
of way, that his want of favour in Lily's eyes had come from some 
deficiency of his own in this respect. She had not found him to be a 
II. xxvm. 8 K 




266 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

hero. She had known him first as a boy, with boyish belongings around 
him, and she had seen him from time to time as he became a man, 
almost with too much intimacy for the creation of that love with which 
he wished to fill her heart. His rival had come before her eyes for the 
first time with all the glories of Pall Mall heroism about him, and Lily 
in her weakness had been conquered by them. Since that she had 
learned how weak she had been, how silly, how childish, she would 
say to herself when she allowed her memory to go back to the details of 
her own story ; but not the less on that account did she feel the want 
of something heroic in a man before she could teach herself to look 
upon him as more worthy of her regard than other men. She had still 
unconsciously hoped in regard to Crosbie, but now that hope had been 
dispelled as unconsciously, simply by his appearance. There had been 
moments in which John Eames had almost risen to the necessary point, 
had almost made good his footing on the top of some moderate, but 
still sufficient mountain. But there had still been a succession of little 
tumbles, unfortunate slips for which he himself should not always 
have been held responsible ; and he had never quite stood upright on 
his pinnacle, visible to Lily's eyes as being really excelsior. Of all this 
John Eames himself had an inkling which had often made him very 
uncomfortable. What the mischief was it she wanted of him ; and what 
was he to do ? The days for plucking glory from the nettle danger 
were clean gone by. He was well dressed. He knew a good many of 
the right sort of people. He was not in debt. He had saved an old 
nobleman's life once upon a time, and had been a good deal talked 
about on that score. He had even thrashed the man who had ill- 
treated her. His constancy had been as the constancy of a Jacob ! 
What was it that she wanted of him ? But in a certain way he did 
know what was wanted ; and now, as he started for Florence, intending 
to stop nowhere till he reached that city, he hoped that by this 
chivalrous journey he might even yet achieve the thing necessary. 

But on reaching Paris he heard tidings of Mrs. Arabin which 
induced him to change his plans and make for Venice instead of for 
Florence. A banker at Paris, to whom he brought a letter, told him 
that Mrs. Arabin would now be found at Venice. This did not perplex 
him at all. It would have been delightful to see Florence, but was 
more delightful still to see Venice. His journey was the same as far 
as Turin ; but from Turin he proceeded through Milan to Venice, 
instead of going by Bologna to Florence. He had fortunately come 
armed with an Austrian passport, as was necessary in those bygone 
of Venetia's thraldom. He was almost proud of himself, as 



MBS. AEABIN IS CAUGHT. 267 

though he had done something great, when "he tumbled in to his inn 
at Venice, without having been in a bed since he left London. 

But he was barely allowed to swim in a gondola, for on reaching 
Venice he found that Mrs. Arabin had gone back to Florence. He had 
been directed to the hotel which Mrs. Arabin had used, and was there 
told that she had started the day before. She had received some letter, 
from her husband as the landlord thought, and had done so. That was 
all the landlord knew. Johnny was vexed, but became a little prouder 
than before as he felt it to be his duty to go on to Florence before he 
went to bed. There would be another night in a railway carriage, but 
he would live through it. There was just time to have a tub and a 
breakfast, to swim in a gondola, to look at the outside of the Doge's 
palace, and to walk up and down the piazza before he started again. 
It was hard work, but I think he would have been pleased had he 
heard that Mrs. Arabin had retreated from Florence to Rome. Had 
such been the case, he would have folded his cloak around him, and 
have gone on, regardless of brigands, thinking of Lily, and wonder- 
ing whether anybody else had ever done so much before without going 
to bed. As it was, he found that Mrs. Arabin was at the hotel in 
Florence, still in bed, as he had arrived early in the morning. So he 
had another tub, another breakfast, and sent up his card. " Mr. John 
Eames," and across the top of it he wrote, "has come from England 
about Mr. Crawley." Then he threw himself on to a sofa in the hotel 
reading-room, and went fast to sleep. 

John had found an opportunity of talking to a young lady in the 
breakfast-room, and had told her of h'is deeds. " I only left London 
on Tuesday night, and I have come here taking Venice on the road." 

" Then you have travelled fast," said the young lady. 

" I haven't seen a bed, of course," said John. 

The young lady immediately afterwards told her father. " I 
suppose he must be one of those Foreign Office messengers," said the 
young lady. 

" Anything but that," said the gentleman. " People never talk 
about their own trades. He's probably a clerk with a fortnight's leave 
of absence, seeing how many towns he can do in the time. It's the 
usual way of travelling now- a- days. When I was young and there 
were no railways, I remember going from Paris to Vienna without 
sleeping." Luckily for his present happiness, John did not hear this. 

He was still fast asleep when a servant came to him from Mrs. 
Arabin to say that she would see him at once. " Yes, yes ; I'm quite 
ready to go on," said Johnny, jumping up, and thinking of the journey 

3 K 2 



268 THE LAST CHBONICLE OF BAESET. 

to Home. But there was no journey to Home before him. Mrs. 
Arabin was almost in the next room, and there he found her. 

The reader will understand that they had never met before, and 
hitherto knew nothing of each other. Mrs. Arabin had never heard 
the name of John Eames till John's card was put into her hands, and 
would not have known his business with her had he not written those 
few words upon it. " You have come about Mr. Crawley ?" she said 
to him, eagerly. " I have heard from my father that somebody was 
coming." 

" Yes, Mrs. Arabin ; as hard as I could travel. I had expected to 
find you at Venice." 

" Have you been at Venice ? " 

" I have just arrived from Venice. They told me at Paris I should 
find you there. However, that does not matter, as I have found you 
here. I wonder whether you can help us ? " 

" Do you know Mr. Crawley ? Are you a friend of his ? " 

" I never saw him in my life ; but he married my cousin.' 

" I gave him the cheque, you know," said Mrs. Arabin. 

" What ! " exclaimed Eames, literally almost knocked backwards by 
the easiness of the words which contained a solution for so terrible 
a difficulty. The Crawley case had assumed such magnitude, and the 
troubles of the Crawley family had been so terrible, that it seemed to 
him to be almost sacrilegious that words so simply uttered should 
suffice to cure everything. He had hardly hoped, had at least barely 
hoped, that Mrs. Arabin might be able to suggest something which 
would put them all on a track towards discovery of the truth. But 
he found that she had the clue in her hand, and that the clue was one 
which required no further delicacy of investigation. There would be 
nothing more to unravel ; no journey to Jerusalem would be necessary ! 

"Yes," said Mrs. Arabin, "I gave it to him. They have been 
writing to my husband about it, and never wrote to me ; and till I 
received a letter about it from my father, and another from my sister, 
at Venice the day before yesterday, I knew nothing of the particulars 
of Mr. Crawley 's trouble." 

" Had you not heard that he had been taken before the magistrates ? " 

" No ; not so much even as that. I had seen in " Galignani " some- 
thing about a clergyman, but I did not know what clergyman ; and I 
heard that there was something wrong about Mr. Crawley's money, 
but there has always been something wrong about money with poor 
Mr. Crawley ; and as I knew that my husband had been written to 
also, I did not interfere, further than to ask the particulars. My 



MBS. AKABIN IS CAUGHT. 269 

letters have followed me about, and I only learned at Venice, just 
before I came here, what was the nature of the case." 

" And did you do anything ? " 

" I telegraphed at once to Mr. Toogood, who I understand is acting 
as Mr. Crawley's solicitor. My sister sent me his address." 

" He is my uncle." 

" I telegraphed to him, telling him that I had given Mr. Crawley 
the cheque, and then I wrote to Archdeacon Grantly giving him the 
whole history. I was obliged to come here before I could return home, 
but I intended to start this evening." 

" And what is the whole history ? " asked John Eanies. 

The history of the gift of the cheque was very simple. It has been 
told how Mr. Crawley in his dire distress had called upon his old Mend 
at the deanery asking for pecuniary assistance. This he had done with 
so much reluctance that his spirit had given way while he was waiting 
in the dean's library, and he had wished to depart without accepting 
what the dean was quite willing to bestow upon him. From this cause 
it had come to pass there had been no time for explanatory words, 
even between the dean and his wife, from whose private funds had 
in truth come the money which had been given to Mr. Crawley. For 
the private wealth of the family belonged to Mrs. Arabin, and not to 
the dean ; and was left entirely in Mrs. Arabin's hands, to be disposed 
of as she might please. Previously to Mr. Crawley's arrival at the 
deanery this matter had been discussed between the dean and his 
wife, and it had been agreed between them that a sum of fifty pounds 
should be given. It should be given by Mrs. Arabin, but it was thought 
that the gift would come with more comfort to the recipient from the 
hands of his old friend than from those of his wife. There had been 
much discussion between them as to the mode in which this might be 
done with least offence to the man's feelings, for they knew Mr. 
Crawley and his peculiarities well. At last it was agreed that the 
notes should be put into an envelope, which envelope the dean should 
have ready with him. But when the moment came the dean did not 
have the envelope ready, and was obliged to leave the room to seek his 
wife. And Mrs. Arabin explained to John Eanies that even she had 
not had it ready, and had been forced to go to her own desk to fetch 
it. Then, at the last moment, with the desire of increasing the good 
to be done to people who were so terribly in want, she put the cheque 
for twenty-pounds, which was in her possession as money of her own, 
along with the notes, and in this way the cheque had been given by 
the dean to Mr. Crawley. " I shall never forgive myself for not telling 



270 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

the dean," she said. " Had I done that all this trouble would have 
been saved ! " 

" But where did you get the cheque ? " Eames asked with natural 
curiosity. 

" Exactly," said Mrs. Arabin. "I have got to show now that I 
did not steal it, have I not ? Mr. Soames will indict me now. And, 
indeed, I have had some trouble to refresh my memory as to all the 
particulars, for you see it is more than a year past." But Mrs. Arabin's 
mind was clearer on such matters than Mr. Crawley's, and she was 
able to explain that she had taken the cheque as part of the rent due 
to her from the landlord of " The Dragon of Wantly," which inn was 
her property, having been the property of her first husband. For some 
years past there had been a difficulty about the rent, things not having 
gone at " The Dragon of Wantly" as smoothly as they had used to 
go. At one time the money had been paid half-yearly by the landlord's 
cheque on the bank at Barchester. For the last year-and-a-half this 
had not been done, and the money had come into Mrs. Arabin's hands 
at irregular periods and in irregular sums. There was at this moment 
rent due for twelve months, and Mrs. Arabin expressed her doubt 
whether she would get it on her return to Barchester. On the occasion 
to which she was now alluding, the money had been paid into her own 
hands, in the deanery breakfast-parlour, by a man she knew very well, 
not the landlord himself, but one bearing the landlord's name, whom 
she believed to be the landlord's brother, or at least his cousin. The 
man in question was named Daniel Stringer, and he had been employed 
in " The Dragon of Wantly," as a sort of clerk or managing man, as 
long as she had known it. The rent had been paid to her by Daniel 
Stringer quite as often as by Daniel's brother or cousin, John Stringer, 
who was, in truth, the landlord of the hotel. When questioned by 
John respecting the persons employed at the inn, she said that she did 
believe that there had been rumours of something wrong. The house 
had been in the hands of the Stringers for many years, before the 
property had been purchased by her husband's father, and therefore 
there had been an unwillingness to move them ; but gradually, so she 
said, there had come upon her and her husband a feeling that the 
house must be put into other hands. " But did you say nothing about 
the cheque ? " John asked. " Yes, I said a good deal about it. I asked 
why a cheque of Mr. Soames's was brought to me, instead of being taken 
to the bank for money ; and Stringer explained to me that they were not 
very fond of going to the bank, as they owed money there, but that I 
could pay it into my account. Only I kept my account at the other bank/ 



MES. ARABIN IS CAUGHT. 

" You might have paid it in there ? " said Johnny. 

"I suppose I might, but I didn't. I gave it to poor Mr. Crawley 
instead, like a fool, as I know now that I was. And so I have brought 
all this trouble on him and on her ; and now I must rush home, without 
waiting for the dean, as fast as the trains will carry me." 

Eames offered to accompany her, and this offer was accepted. "It 
is hard upon you, though," she said ; " you will see nothing of 
Florence. Three hours in Venice, and six in Florence, and no hours 
at all anywhere else, will be a hard fate to you on your first trip to 
Italy." But Johnny said "Excelsior" to himself once more, and 
thought of Lily Dale, who was still in London, hoping that she might 
hear of his exertions ; and he felt, perhaps, also, that it would be 
pleasant to return with a dean's wife, and never hesitated. Nor would 
it do, he thought, for him to be absent in the excitement caused by the 
news of Mr. Crawley's innocence and injuries. " I don't care a bit 
about that," he said. " Of course, I should like to see Florence, and, 
of course, I should like to go to bed ; but I will live in hopes that I 
may do both some day." And so there grew to be a friendship between 
him and Mrs. Arabin even before they had started. 

He was driven once through Florence ; he saw the Venus de' Medici, 
and he saw the Seggiola ; he looked up from the side of the Duomo to 
the top of the Campanile, and he walked round the back of the cathedral 
itself ; he tried to inspect the doors of the Baptistery, and declared that 
the " David" was very fine. Then he went back to the hotel, dined 
with Mrs. Arabin, and started for England. 

The dean was to have joined his wife at Venice, and then they were 
to have returned together, coming round by Florence. Mrs. Arabin 
had not, therefore, taken her things away from Florence when she left 
it, and had been obliged to return to pick them up on her journey 
homewards. He, the dean, had been delayed in his Eastern travels. 
Neither Syria nor Constantinople had got themselves done as quickly 
as he had expected, and he had, consequently, twice written to his 
wife, begging her to pardon the transgression of his absence for even 
yet a few days longer. "Everything, therefore," as Mrs. Arabin said, 
' ' has conspired to perpetuate this mystery, which a word from me would 
have solved. I owe more* to Mr. Crawley than I can ever pay him." 

" He will be very well paid, I think," said John, " when he hears 
the truth. If you could see inside his mind at this moment, I'm sure 
you'd find that he thinks he stole the cheque." 

" He cannot think that, Mr. Eames. Besides, at this moment I 
hope he has heard the truth." 



272 THE LAST CH&ONICLE OF BAKSET. 

" That may be, but he did think so. I do believe that he had not 
the slightest notion where he got it ; and, which is more, not a single 
person in the whole county had a notion. People thought that he had 
picked it up, and used it in his despair. And the bishop has been so 
hard upon him." 

" Oh, Mr. Eames, that is the worst of all." 

" So I am told. The bishop has a wife, I believe." 

" Yes, he has a wife, certainly," said Mrs. Arabin. 

" And people say that she is not very good-natured." 

"There are some of us at Barchester who do not love her very 
dearly. I cannot say that she is one of my own especial friends." 

" I believe she has been hard to Mr. Crawley," said John Eames. 

". I should not be in the least surprised," said Mrs. Arabin. 

Then they reached Turin, and there, taking up " Galignani's Mes- 
senger " in the reading-room of Trompetta's Hotel, John Eames saw that 
Mrs. Proudie was dead. " Look at that," said he, taking the paragraph 
to Mrs. Arabin ; " Mrs. Proudie is dead ! " " Mrs. Proudie dead ! " 
she exclaimed. " Poor woman ! Then there will be peace at Bar- 
chester ! " "I never knew her very intimately," she afterwards said to 
her companion, " and I do not know that I have a right to say that she 
ever did me an injury. But I remember well her first coming into 
Barchester. My sister's father-in-law, the late bishop, was just dead. 
He was a mild, kind, dear old man, whom my father loved beyond all the 
world, except his own children. You may suppose we were all a little sad. 
I was not specially connected with the cathedral then, except through 
my father," and Mrs. Arabin, as she told all this, remembered that in 
the days of which she was speaking she was a young mourning widow, 
" but I think I can never forget the sort of harsh-toned paean of low- 
church trumpets with which that poor woman made her entry into the 
city. She might have been more lenient, as we had never sinned by 
being very high. She might, at any rate, have been more gentle with 
us at first. I think we had never attempted much beyond decency, 
good-will and comfort. Our comfort she utterly destroyed. Good-will 
was not to her taste. And as for decency, when I remember some 
things, I must say that when the comfort and good-will went, the 
decency went along with them. And now she is dead ! I wonder how 
the bishop will get on without her." 

" Like a house on fire, I should think," said Johnny. 

" Fie, Mr. Eames ; you shouldn't speak in such a way on such a 
subject." 

Mrs. Arabin and Johnny became fast Mends as they journeyed 



MES. AKABIN IS CAUGHT. 273 

home. There was a sweetness in his character which endeared him 
readily to women ; though, as we have seen, there was a want of some- 
thing to make one woman cling to him. He could he soft and pleasant- 
mannered. He was fond of making himself useful, and was a perfect 
master of all those little caressing modes of behaviour in which the 
caress is quite impalpable, and of which most women know the value 
and appreciate the comfort. By the time that they had reached Paris 
John had told Mrs. Arabin the whole story of Lily Dale and Crosbie, 
and Mrs. Arabin had promised to assist him, if any assistance might be 
in her power. 

" Of course I have heard of Miss Dale," she said, " because we 
know the De Courcys." Then she turned away her face, almost 
blushing, as she remembered the first time that she had seen that Lady 
Alexandrina De Courcy whom Mr. Crosbie had married. It had been 
at Mr. Thome's house at Ullathorne, and on that day she had done a 
thing which she had never since remembered without blushing. But it 
was an old story now, and a story of which her companion knew 
nothing, of which he never could know anything. That day at 
Ullathorne Mrs. Arabin, the wife of the Dean of Barchester, than 
whom there was no more discreet clerical matron in the diocese, had 
boxed a clergyman's ears ! 

" Yes," said John, speaking of Crosbie, " he was a wise fellow ; he 
knew what he was about ; he married an earl's daughter." 

" And now I remember hearing that somebody gave him a terrible 
beating. Perhaps it was you ? " 

" It wasn't terrible at all," said Johnny. 

" Then it was you ? " 

" Oh, yes ; it was I." 

" Then it was you who saved poor old Lord De Guest from the 
bull ? " 

" Go on, Mrs. Arabin. There is no end of the grand things I've 
done." 

" You're quite a hero of romance." 

He bit his lip as he told himself that he was not enough of a hero. 
" I don't know about that," said Johnny. " I think what a man ought 
to do in these days is to seem not to care what he eats and drinks, and 
to have his linen very well got up. Then he'll be a hero." But that 
was hard upon Lily. 

" Is that what Miss Dale requires ? " said Mrs. Arabin. 

" I was not thinking about her particularly," said Johnny, lying. 

They slept a night in Paris, as they had done also at Turin, Mrs. 



274 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Arabin not finding herself able to accomplish such marvels in the way 
of travelling as her companion had achieved and then arrived in 
London in the evening. She was taken to a certain quiet clerical hotel 
at the top of Suffolk Street, much patronized by bishops and deans of 
the better sort, expecting to find a message there from her husband. 
And there was the message -just arrived. The dean had reached 
Florence three days after her departure; and as he would do the 
journey home in twenty-four hours less than she had taken, he would 
be there, at the hotel, on the day after to-morrow. " I suppose I may 
wait for him, Mr. Eames ? " said Mrs. Arabin. 

" I will see Mr. Toogood to-night, and I will call here to-morrow, 
whether I see him or not. At what hour will you be in ? " 

" Don't trouble yourself to do that. You must take care of Sir 
Raffle Buffle, you know." 

" I shan't go near Sir Baffle Buffle to-morrow, nor yet the next day. 
You mustn't suppose that I am afraid of Sir Raffle Buffle." 

" You are only afraid of Lily Dale." From all which it may be seen 
that Mrs. Arabin and John Eames had become very intimate on their 
way home. 

It was then arranged that he should call on Mr. Toogood that same 
night or early the next morning, and that he should come to the hotel 
at twelve o'clock on the next day. Going along one of the passages he 
passed two gentlemen in shovel-hats, with very black new coats, and 
knee-breeches ; and Johnny could not but hear a few words which one 
clerical gentleman said to the other. " She was a woman of great 
energy, of wonderful spirit, but a firebrand, my lord, a complete fire- 
brand ! " Then Johnny knew that the Dean of A. was talking to the 
Bishop of B. about the late Mrs. Proudie. 



CHAPTER LXXI. 
ME. TOOGOOD AT SILVEEBEIDGE. 

WE will now go back to Mr. Toogood as lie started for Silverbridge, on 
the receipt of Mrs. Arabin's telegram from Venice. " I gave cheque to 
Mr. Crawley. It was part of a sum of money. Will write to Arch- 
deacon Grantly to-day, and return home at once." That was the 
telegram which Mr. Toogood received at his office, and on receiving 
which he resolved that he must start to Barchester immediately. " It 
isn't certainly what you may call a paying business," he said to his 
partner, who continued to grumble ; " but it must be done all the 
same. If it don't get into the ledger in one way it will in another." 
So Mr. Toogood started for Silverbridge, having sent to his house in 
Tavistock Square for a small bag, a clean shirt, and a toothbrush. 
And as he went down in the railway-carriage, before he went to sleep, 
he turned it all over in his mind. "Poor devil ! I wonder whether 
any man ever suffered so much before. And as for that woman, it's 
ten thousand pities that she should have died before she heard it. 
Talk of heart- complaint ; she'd have had a touch of heart- complaint if 
she had known this ! " Then, as he was speculating how Mrs. Arabin 
could have become possessed of the cheque, he went to sleep. 

He made up his mind that the first person to be seen was Mr. 
Walker, and after that he would, if possible, go to Archdeacon Grantly. 
He was at first minded to go at once out to Hogglestock ; but when he 
remembered how very strange Mr. Crawley was in all his ways, and 
told himself professionally that telegrams were but bad sources of 
evidence on which to depend for details, he thought that it would be 
safer if he were first to see Mr. Walker. There would be very little 
delay. In a day or two the archdeacon would receive his letter, and in 
a day or two after that Mrs. Arabin would probably be at home. 

It was late in the evening before Mr. Toogood reached the house of 
the Silverbridge solicitor, having the telegram carefully folded in his 
pocket ; and he was shown into the dining-room while the servant 
took his name up to Mr. Walker. The clerks were gone, and the office 
was closed ; and persons coming on business at such times, as they 
often did come to that house, were always shown into the parlour. 



276 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I don't know whether master can see you to-night," said the girl ; 
" but if he can, he'll come down." 

When the card was brought up to Mr. Walker he was sitting alone 
with his wife. " It's Toogood," said he ; " poor Crawley's cousin." 

" I wonder whether he has found anything out," said Mrs. Walker. 
" May he not come up here ? " Then Mr. Toogood was summoned into 
the drawing-room, to the maid's astonishment ; for Mr. Toogood had 
made no toilet sacrifices to the goddess or grace who presides over 
evening society in provincial towns, and presented himself with the 
telegram in his hand. " We have found out all about poor Crawley's 
cheque," he said, before the maid-servant had closed the door. " Look 
at that," and he handed the telegram to Mr. Walker. The poor girl 
was obliged to go, though she would have given one of her ears to 
know the exact contents of that bit of paper. 

" Walker, what is it ? " said his wife, before Walker had had time 
to make the contents of the document his own. 

" He got it from Mrs. Arabin," said Toogood. 

" No ! " said Mrs. Walker. " I thought that was it all along." 

" It's a pity you didn't say so before," said Mr. Walker. 

" So I did ; but a lawyer thinks that nobody can ever see anything 
but himself; begging your pardon, Mr. Toogood, but I forgot you 
were one of us. But, Walker, do read it." Then the telegram was 
read. " I gave cheque to Mr. Crawley. It was part of a sum of 
money," with the rest of it. "I knew it would come out," said Mrs. 
Walker. " I was quite sure of it." 

" But why the mischief didn't he say so ? " said Walker. 

" He did say that he got it from the dean," said Toogood. 

" But he didn't get it from the dean ; and the dean clearly knew 
nothing about it." 

" I'll tell you what it is," said Mrs. Walker; "it has been some 
private transaction between Mr. Crawley and Mrs. Arabin, which the 
dean was to know nothing about ; and so he wouldn't tell. I must say 
I honour him." 

" I don't think it has been that," said Walker. " Had he known 
all through that it had come from Mrs. Arabin, he would never have 
said that Mr. Soames gave it to him, and then that the dean gave it him." 

" The truth has been that he has known nothing about it," said 
Toogood ; " and we shall have to tell him." 

At that moment Mary Walker came into the room, and Mrs. Walker 
could not constrain herself. "Mary, Mr. Crawley is all right. He 
didn't steal the cheque. Mrs. Arabin gave it to him." 



ME. TOOGOOD AT SILVERBRIDGE. 277 

" Who says so ? How do you know ? Oh, dear ; I am so happy, 
if it's true." Then she saw Mr. Toogood, and curtseyed. 

"It is quite true, my dear," said Mr. Walker. "Mr. Toogood 
has had a message by the wires from Mrs. Arabin at Venice. She is 
coming home at once, and no doubt everything will be put right. In 
the meantime, it may be a question whether we should not hold our 
tongues. Mr. Crawley himself, I suppose, knows nothing of it yet ? " 

" Not a word," said Toogood. 

" Papa, I must tell Miss Prettyman," said Mary. 

" I should think that probably all Silverbridge knows it by this 
time," said Mrs. Walker, "because Jane was in the room when the 
announcement was made. You may be sure that eveiy servant in the 
house has been told." Mary Walker, not waiting for any further 
command from her father, hurried out of the room to convey the secret 
to her special circle of friends. 

It was known throughout Silverbridge that night, and indeed it 
made so much commotion that it kept many people for an hour out 
of their beds. Ladies who were not in the habit of going out late at 
night without the fly from the " George and Vulture," tied their heads 
up in their handkerchiefs, and hurried up and down the street to tell 
each other that the great secret had been discovered, and that in truth 
Mr. Crawley had not stolen the cheque. The solution of the mystery- 
was not known to all, was known on that night only to the very select 
portion of the aristocracy of Silverbridge to whom it was communicated 
by Mary Walker or Miss Anne Prettyman. For Mary Walker, when 
earnestly entreated by Jane, the parlour-maid, to tell her something 
more of the great news, had so far respected her father's caution as to 
say not a word about Mrs. Arabin. "Is it true, Miss Mary, that he 
didn't steal it?" Jane asked imploringly. "It is true. He did not 
steal it." " And who did, Miss Mary ? Indeed I won't teU anybody." 
" Nobody. But don't ask any more questions, for I won't answer 
them. Get me my hat at once, for I want to go up to Miss Pretty- 
man's." Then Jane got Miss Walker's hat, and immediately afterwards 
scampered into the kitchen with the news. " Oh, law, cook, it's all 
come out ! Mr. Crawley 's as innocent as the unborn babe. The 
gentleman upstairs what's just come, and was here once before, for I 
know'd him immediate, I heard him say so. And master said so too." 

" Did master say so his own self?" asked the cook. 

" Indeed he did ; and Miss Mary told me the same this moment." 

" If master said so, then there ain't a doubt as they'll find him 
innocent. And who took'd it, Jane ? " 

" Miss Mary says as nobody didn't steal it." 



278 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

" That's nonsense, Jane. Ifc stands to reason as somebody had it 
as hadn't ought to have had it. But I'm as glad as anything as how 
that poor reverend gent '11 come off ; I am. They tells me it's weeks 
sometimes before a bit of butcher's meat finds its way into his house." 
Then the groom and the housemaid and the cook, one after another, 
took occasion to slip out of the back-door, and poor Jane, who had really 
been the owner of the news, was left alone to answer the bell. 

Miss Walker found the two Miss Prettymans sitting together over 
their accounts in the elder Miss Prettyman's private room. And she 
could see at once by signs which were not unfamiliar to her that Miss 
Anne Prettyman was being scolded. It often happened that Miss Anne 
Prettyman was scolded, especially when the accounts were brought out 
upon the table. " Sister, they are illegible," Mary Walker heard, as 
the servant opened the door for her. 

" I don't think it's quite so bad as that," said Miss Anne, unable 
to restrain her defence. Then, as Mary entered the room, Miss Pretty- 
man the elder laid her hands down on certain books and papers as 
though to hide them from profane eyes. 

" I am glad to see you, Mary," said Miss Prettyman, gravely. 

" I've brought such a piece of news," said Mary. " I knew you'd 
be glad to hear it, so I ventured to disturb you." 

"Is it good news ? " said Anne Prettyman. 

" Very good news. Mr. Crawley is innocent. 

Both the ladies sprung on to their legs. Even Miss Prettyman 
herself jumped up on to her legs. "No ! " said Anne. "Your father 
has discovered it ? " said Miss Prettyman. 

" Not exactly that. Mr. Toogood has come down from London to 
tell him. Mr. Toogood, you know, is Mr. Crawley's cousin ; and he 
is a lawyer, like papa." It may be observed that ladies belonging to 
the families of solicitors always talk about lawyers, and never about 
attorneys or barristers. 

" And does Mr. Toogood say that Mr. Crawley is innocent ? " asked 
Miss Prettyman. 

" He has heard it by a message from Mrs. Arabin. But you mustn't 
mention this. You won't, please, because papa has asked me not. I told 
him that I should tell you." Then, for the first time, the frown passed 
away entirely from Miss Prettyman's face, and the papers and account- 
books were pushed aside, as being of no moment. The news had been 
momentous enough to satisfy her. Mary continued her story almost in 
a whisper. " It was Mrs. Arabin who sent the cheque to Mr. Crawley. 
She says so herself. So that makes Mr. Crawley quite innocent. I am 
so glad." 



MR. TOOGOOD AT SILYERBEIDGE. 279 

" But isn't it odd lie didn't say so ? " said Miss Prettyman. 
" Nevertheless, it's true," said Mary. 
" Perhaps he forgot," said Anne Prettyman. 
" Men don't forget such things as that," said the elder sister. 
" I really do think Mr. Crawley could forget anything," said the 
younger sister. 

" You may be sure it's true," said Mary Walker, " because papa 
said so." 

" If he said so, it must be true," said Miss Prettyman ; " and I 
am rejoiced. I really am rejoiced. Poor man ! Poor ill-used man ! 
And nobody has ever believed that he has really been guilty, even 
though they may have thought that he spent the money without any 
proper right to it. And now he will get off. But dear me, Mary, 
Mr. Smithe told me yesterday that he had already given up his living, 
and that Mr. Spooner, the minor canon, was trying to get it from the 
dean. But that was because Mr. Spooner and Mrs. Proudie had 
quarrelled ; and as Mrs. Proudie is gone, Mr. Spooner very likely won't 
want to move now." 

" They'll never go and put anybody into Hogglestock, Annabella, 
over Mr. Crawley's head," said Anne. 

" I didn't say that they would. Surely I may be allowed to repeat 
what I hear, like another person, without being snapped up." 
" I didn't mean to snap you up, Annabella." 

" You're always snapping me up. But if this is true, I cannot say 
how glad I am. My poor Grace ! Now, I suppose, there will be no 
difficulty, and Grace will become a great lady." Then they discussed 
very minutely the chances of Grace Crawley's promotion. 

John Walker, Mr. Winthrop, and several others, of the chosen 
spirits of Silverbridge, were playing whist at a provincial club, which 
had established itself in the town, when the news was brought to them. 
Though Mr. Winthrop was the partner of the great Walker, and though 
John Walker was the great man's son, I fear that the news reached 
their ears in but an underhand sort of way. As for the great man 
himself, he never went near the club, preferring his slippers and tea at 
home. The Walkerian groom, rushing up the street to the " George 
and Vulture," paused a moment to tell his tidings to the club porter; 
from the club porter it was whispered respectfully to the Silverbridge 
apothecary, who, by special grace, was a member of the club ; and was 
by him repeated with much cautious solemnity over the card-table. 
"Who told you that, Balsam?" said John Walker, throwing down 
his cards, 



280 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I've just heard it," said Balsam. 

" I don't believe it," said John. 

" I shouldn't wonder if it's true," said Winthrop. " I always said 
that something would turn up." 

" Will you bet three to one he is not found guilty ? " said John Walker. 

" Done," said Winthrop ; "in pounds." That morning the odds 
in the club against the event had been only two to one. But as the 
matter was discussed, the men in the club began to believe the tidings, 
and before he went home, John Walker would have been glad to hedge 
his bet on any terms. After he had spoken to his father, he gave his 
money up for lost. 

But Mr. Walker, the great Walker, had more to do that night 
before his son came home from the club. He and Mr. Toogood agreed 
that it would be right that they should see Dr. Tempest at once, and 
they went over together to the rectory. It was past ten at this time, 
and they found the doctor almost in the act of putting out the candles 
for the night. "I could not but come to you, doctor," said Mr. 
Walker, " with the news my friend has brought. Mrs. Arabia gave 
the cheque to Crawley. Here is a telegram from her saying so." And 
the telegram was handed to the doctor. 

He stood perfectly silent for a few minutes, reading it over and 
over again. " I see it all," he said, when he spoke at last. " I see it all 
now ; and I must own I was never before so much puzzled in my life." 

" I own I can't see why she should have given him Mr. Soames's 
cheque," said Mr. Walker. 

" I can't say where she got it, and I own I don't much care," said 
Dr. Tempest. " But I don't doubt but what she gave it him without 
telling the dean, and that Crawley thought it came from the dean. 
I'm very glad. I am, indeed, very glad. I do not know that I ever 
pitied a man so much in my life as I have pitied Mr. Crawley." 

" It must have been a hard case when it has moved him," said Mr. 
Walker to Mr. Toogood as they left the clergyman's house ; and then 
the Silverbridge attorney saw the attorney from London home to his inn. 

It was the general opinion at Silverbridge that the news from 
Venice ought to be communicated to the Crawleys by Major Grantly. 
Mary Walker had expressed this opinion very strongly, and her mother 
had agreed with her. Miss Prettyman also felt that poetical justice, 
or, at least, the romance of justice, demanded this ; and, as she told 
her sister Anne after Mary Walker left her, she was of opinion that 
such an arrangement might tend to make things safe. " I do think he 
is an honest man and a fine fellow," said Miss Prettyman; "but, my 



MB. TOOGOOD AT SILVERBRIDGE. 281 

dear, you know what the proverb says, ' There's many a slip 'twixt the 
cup and the lip.' " Miss Prettyman thought that anything which 
might be done to prevent a slip ought to be done. The idea that the 
pleasant task of taking the news out to Hogglestock ought to be con- 
fided to Major Grantly was very general ; but then Mr. Walker was of 
opinion that the news ought not to be taken to Hogglestock at all till 
something more certain than the telegram had reached them. Early 
on the following morning the two lawyers again met, and it was 
arranged between them that the London lawyer should go over at 
cnce to Barchester, and that the Silverbridge lawyer should see Major 
Grantly. Mr. Toogood was still of opinion that with due diligence 
something might yet be learned as to the cheque, by inquiry among the 
denizens of " The Dragon of Wantly ; " and his opinion to this effect 
was stronger than ever when he learned from Mr. Walker that " The 
Dragon of Wantly " belonged to Mrs. Arabin. 

Mr. Walker, after breakfast, had himself driven up in his open 
carnage to Cosby Lodge, and, as he entered the gates, observed that 
the auctioneer's bills as to the sale had been pulled down. The 
Mr. Walkers of the world know everything, and our Mr. Walker had 
quite understood that the major was leaving Cosby Lodge because of 
some misunderstanding with his father. The exact nature of the mis- 
understanding he did not know, even though he was Mr. Walker, but 
had little doubt that it referred in some way to Grace Crawley. If the 
archdeacon's objection to Grace arose from the imputation against the 
father, that objection would now be removed, but the abolition of 
the posters could not as yet have been owing to any such cause as 
that. Mr. Walker found the major at the gate of the farmyard attached 
to Cosby Lodge, and perceived that at that very moment he was engaged 
in superintending the abolition of sundry other auctioneer's bills from 
sundry other posts. " What is all this about ? " said Mr. Walker, greeting 
the major. " Is there to be no sale after all ? " 

" It has been postponed," said the major. 

" Postponed for good, I hope ? Bill to be read again this day six 
months ! " said Mr. Walker. 

" I rather think not. But circumstances have induced me to have 
it put off." 

Mr. Walker had got out of the carriage and had taken Major Grantly 
aside. "Just come a little further," he said; " I've something special 
to tell you. News reached me last night which will clear Mr. Crawley 
altogether. We know now where he got the cheque." 

" You don't tell me so ! " 

II. xxviii. 3 L 



282 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

" Yes, I do. And though the news has reached us in such a way 
that we cannot act upon it till it's confirmed, I do not in the least 
doubt it." 

" And how did he get it ? " 

f< You cannot guess ?" 

" Not in the least," said the major ; " unless, after all, Soames gave 
it to him." 

" Soames did not give it to him, but Mrs. Arabin did." 

" Mrs. Arabin ?" 

" Yes, Mrs. Arabin." 

"Npt the dean?" 

" No, not the dean. What we know is this, that your aunt has 
telegraphed to Crawley's cousin, Toogood, to say that she gave Crawiey 
that cheque, and that she has written to your father about it at length. 
We do not like to tell Crawiey till that letter has been received. It is 
so easy, you know, to misunderstand a telegram, and the wrong copying 
of a word may make such a mistake ! " 

" When was it received ? " 

"Toogood received it in London only yesterday morning. Your 
father will not get his letter, as I calculate, till the day after to-morrow. 
But, perhaps, you had better go over and see him, and prepare him for 
it. Toogood has gone to Barchester this morning." To this pro- 
position Grantly made no immediate answer. He could not but 
remember the terms on which he had left his father ; and though he 
had, most unwillingly, pulled down the auctioneer's bills, in compliance 
with his mother's last prayer to him, and, indeed, had angrily told 
the auctioneer to send him in his bill when the auctioneer had demurred 
to these proceedings, nevertheless he was hardly prepared to discuss 
the matter of Mr. Crawiey with his father in pleasant words, in words 
which should be full of rejoicing. It was a great thing for him, Henry 
Grantly, that Mr. Crawiey should be innocent, and he did rejoice ; but 
he had intended his father to understand that he meant to persevere, 
whether Mr. Crawiey were innocent or guilty, and thus he would now 
lose an opportunity for exhibiting his obstinacy, an opportunity which 
had not been without a charm for him. He must console himself as 
best he might with the returning prospect of assured prosperity, and 
with his renewed hopes as to the Plumstead foxes ! " We think, major, 
that when the time comes you ought to be the bearer of the news to 
Hogglestock," said Mr. Walker. Then the major did undertake to 
convey the news to Hogglestock, but he made no promise as to going 
over to Plumstead. 



CHAPTEE 

HE. TOOGOOD AT " THE DRAGON OF WANTLY." 

IN accordance with his arrangement with Mr. Walker, Mr. Toogood 
went over to Barchester early in the morning and put himself up at 
" The Dragon of Wantly." He now knew the following facts: that 
Mr. Soaines, when he lost his cheque, had had with him one of the 
servants from that inn, that the man who had been with Mr. Soames 
had gone to New Zealand, that the cheque had found its way into the 
hands of Mrs. Arabin, and that Mrs. Arabin was the owner of the inn 
in question. So much he believed to be within his knowledge, and if 
his knowledge should prove to be correct, his work would be done as 
far as Mr. Crawley was concerned. If Mr. Crawley had not stolen the 
cheque, and if that could be proved, it would be a question of no great 
moment to Mr. Toogood who had stolen it. But he was a sportsman 
in his own line who liked to account for his own fox. As he was down 
at Barchester, he thought that he might as well learn how the cheque 
had got into Mrs. Arabin's hands. No doubt that for her own personal 
possession of it she would be able to account on her return. Probably 
such account would be given in her first letter home. But it might be 
well that he should be prepared with any small circumstantial details 
which he might be able to pick up at the inn. 

He reached Barchester before breakfast, and in ordering his tea and 
toast, reminded the old waiter with the dirty towel of his former 
Acquaintance with him. " I remember you, sir," said the old waiter. 
"I remember you very well. You was asking questions about tho 
cheque which Mr. Soames lost afore Christmas." Mr. Toogood 
certainly had asked one question on the subject. He had inquired 
whether a certain man who had gone to New Zealand had been ike 
post-boy who accompanied Mr. Soames when the cheque was lost ; and 
the waiter had professed to know nothing about Mr. Soames or the 
cheque. He now perceived at once that the gist of the question had 
remained on the old man's mind, and that he was recognized as being in 
some way connected with the lost money. 

" Did I ? Ah, yes ; I think I did. And I think you told me that 
he was the man ?" 

" No, sir ; I never told you that." 



284 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Then you told me that he wasn't." 

" Nor I didn't tell you that neither," said the waiter angrily. 

" Then what the devil did you tell me ? " To this further question 
the waiter sulkily declined to give any answer, and soon afterwards left 
the room. Toogood, as soon as he had done his breakfast, rang the 
bell, and the same man appeared. " Will you tell Mr. Stringer that I 
should be glad to see him if he's disengaged," said Mr. Toogood. " I 
know he's bad with the gout, and therefore if he'll allow me, I'll go to 
him instead of his coming to me." Mr. Stringer was the landlord of 
the inn. The waiter hesitated a moment, and then declared that to the 
best of his belief his master was not down. He would go and see. 
Toogood, however, would not wait for that; but rising quickly and 
passing the waiter, crossed the hall from the coffee-room, and entered 
what was called the bar. The bar was a small room connected with 
the hall by a large open window, at which orders for rooms were given 
and cash was paid, and glasses of beer were consumed, and a good 
deal of miscellaneous conversation was carried on. The barmaid was 
here at the window, and there was also, in a corner of the room, a man 
at a desk with a red nose. Toogood knew that the man at the desk 
with the red nose was Mr. Stringer's clerk. So much he had learned 
in his former rummaging about the inn. And he also remembered at 
this moment that he had observed the man with the red nose standing 
under a narrow archway in the close as he was coming out of the 
deanery, on the occasion of his visit to Mr. Harding. It had not 
occurred to him then that the man with the red nose was watching him, 
but it did occur to him now that the man with the red nose had been 
there, under the arch, with the express purpose of watching him on 
that occasion. Mr. Toogood passed quickly through the bar into an 
inner parlour, in which was sitting Mr. Stringer, the landlord, propped 
among his cushions. Toogood, as he had entered the hotel, had seen 
Mr. Stringer so placed, through the two doors, which at that moment 
had both happened to be open. He knew therefore that his old 
friend the waiter had not been quite true to him in suggesting that his 
master was not as yet down. As Toogood cast a glance of his eye on 
the man with the red nose, he told himself the old story of the 
apparition under the archway. 

" Mr. Stringer," said Mr. Toogood to the landlord, " I hope I'm not 
intruding." 

" dear, no, sir," said the forlorn man. "Nobody ever intrudes 
coming in here. I'm always happy to see gentlemen, only, mostly, 
I'm so bad with the gout." 



MR. TOOGOOD AT " THE DRAGON OF WANTLY." 285 

" Have you got a sharp touch of it just now, Mr. Stringer ? " 

"Not just to-day, sir. I've been a little easier since Saturday. 
The worst of this burst is over. But Lord bless you, sir, it don't 
leave me, not for a fortnight at a time, now ; it don't. And it ain't 
what I drink, nor it ain't what I eat." 

" Constitutional, I suppose ? " said Toogood. 

"Look here, sir;" and Mr. Stringer shewed his visitor the chalk 
stones in all his knuckles. " They say I'm all a mass of chalk. I 
sometimes think they'll break me up to mark the scores behind my 
own door with." And Mr. Stringer laughed at his own wit. 

Mr. Toogood laughed too. He laughed loud and cheerily. And 
then he asked a sudden question, keeping his eye as he did so upon a 
little square open window, which communicated between the landlord's 
private room and the bar. Through this small aperture he could see 
as he stood a portion of the hat worn by the man with the red nose. 
Since he had been in the room with the landlord, the man with the 
red nose had moved his head twice, on each occasion drawing himself 
closer into his corner ; but Mr. Toogood, by moving also, had still 
contrived to keep a morsel of the hat in sight. He laughed cheerily at 
the landlord's joke, and then he asked a sudden question, looking 
well at the morsel of the hat as he did so. " Mr. Stringer," said he, 
" how do you pay your rent, and to whom do you pay it ? " There 
was immediately a jerk in the hat, and then it disappeared. Toogood, 
stepping to the open door, saw that the red-nosed clerk had taken his 
hat off and was very busy at his accounts. 

" How do I pay my rent ? " said Mr. Stringer, the landlord. 
" Well, sir, since this cursed gout has been so bad, it's hard enough 
to pay it at all sometimes. You ain't sent here to look for it, sir, are 
you ? " 

" Not I," said Toogood. " It was only a chance question." He 
felt that he had nothing more to do with Mr. Stringer, the landlord. 
Mr. Stringer, the landlord, knew nothing about Mr. Soames's cheque. 
" What's the name of your clerk ? " said he. 

"The name of my clerk?" said Mr. Stringer. "Why do you 
want to know the name of my clerk ? " 

" Does he ever pay your rent for you ? " 

" Well, yes ; he does, at times. He pays it into the bank for the 
lady as owns the house. Is there any reason for your asking these 
questions, sir ? It isn't usual, you know, for a stranger, sir." 

Toogood during the whole of this time was standing with his eye 
upon the red-nosed man, and the red-nosed man could not move. The 



286 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BAESET. 

red-nosed man heard all the questions and the landlord's answers, and 
could not even pretend that he did not hear them. " I am my cousin's 
clerk," said he, putting on his hat, and coming up to Mr. Toogood with 
a swagger. "My name is Dan Stringer, and I'm Mr. John Stringer's 
cousin. I've lived with Mr. John Stringer for twelve year and more, 
and I'm a'most as well known in Barchester as himself. Have you 
anything to say to me, sir ? " 

" Well, yes ; I have," said Toogood. 

" I believe you're one of them attorneys from London ?" said Mr. 
Dan Stringer. 

" That's true. I am an attorney from London." 

" I hope there's nothing wrong ? " said the gouty man, trying to get 
off his chair, but not succeeding. ' ' If there is anything wronger than 
usual, Dan, do tell me. Is there anything wrong, sir ? " and the 
landlord appealed piteously to Mr. Toogood. 

"Never you mind, John," said Dan. "You keep yourself quiet, 
and don't answer none of his questions. He's one of them low sort, he 
is. I know him. I knowed him for what he is directly I saw him. 
Ferreting about, that's his game ; to see if there's anything to 
be got." 

" But what is he ferreting here for ? " said Mr. John Stringer. 

" I'm ferreting for Mr. Soames's cheque for twenty pounds," said 
Mr. Toogood. 

" That's the cheque that the parson stole," said Dan Stringer, 
" He's to be tried for it at the 'sizes." 

" You've heard about Mr. Soames and his cheque, and about Mr. 
Crawley, I daresay ? " said Toogood. 

" I've heard a deal about them," said the landlord. 

"And so, I daresay, have you?" said Toogood, turning to Dan 
Stringer. But Dan Stringer did not seem inclined to carry on the 
conversation any further. When he was hardly pressed, he declared 
that he just had heard that there was some parson in trouble about a 
sum of money ; but that he knew no more about it than that. He 
didn't know whether it was a cheque or a note that the parson had 
taken, and had never been sufficiently interested in the matter to make 
any inquiry. 

" But you've just said that Mr. Soames's cheque was the cheque the 
parson stole," said the astonished landlord, turning with open eyes 
upon his cousin. 

" You be blowed," said Dan Stringer, the clerk, to Mr. John 
Stringer, the landlord ; and then walked out of the room back to the bar. 



ME. TOOGOOD AT " THE DRAGON OP WANTLY." 287 

" I understand nothing about it, nothing at all," said the gout 
man. 

" I understand pretty nearly all about it," said Mr. Toogood, 
following the red*nosed clerk. There was no necessity that he should 
trouble the landlord any further. He left the room, and went through 
the bar, and as he passed out along the hall, he found Dan Stringer 
with his hat on talking to the waiter. The waiter immediately pulled 
himself up, and adjusted his dirty napkin under his arm, after the 
fashion of waiters, and showed that he intended to be civil to the 
customers of the house. But he of the red nose cocked his hat, and 
looked with insolence at Mr. Toogood, and defied him. " There's 
nothing I do hate so much as them low-bred Old Bailey attorneys," 
said Mi\ Dan Stringer to the waiter, in a voice intended to reach Mr. 
Toogood's ears. Then Mr. Toogood told himself that Dan Stringer 
was not the thief himself, and that it might be very difficult to prove 
that Dan had even been the receiver of stolen goods. He had, how- 
ever, no doubt in his own mind but that such was the case. 

He first went to the police office, and there explained his business. 
Nobody at the police office pretended to forget Mr. Soames's cheque, or 
Mr. Crawley's position. The constable went so far as to swear that 
there wasn't a man, woman, or child in all Barchester who was not 
talking of Mr. Crawley at that very moment. Then Mi*. Toogood went 
with the constable to the private house of the mayor, and had a little 
conversation with the mayor. "Not guilty! " said the mayor, with 
incredulity, when he first heard the news about Crawley. But when 
he heard Mr. Toogood's story, or as much of it as it was necessary that 
he should hear, he yielded reluctantly. "Dear, dear!" he said. 
"I'd have bet anything 'twas he who stole it." And after that the 
mayor was quite sad. Only let us think what a comfortable excitement 
it would create throughout England if it was surmised that an arch- 
bishop had forged a deed ; and how much England would lose when it 
was discovered that the archbishop was innocent ! As the archbishop 
and his forgery would be to England, so was Mr. Crawley and the 
cheque for twenty pounds to Barchester and its mayor. Nevertheless, 
the mayor promised his assistance to Mr. Toogood. 

Mr. Toogood, still neglecting his red-nosed friend, went next to the 
deanery, hoping that he might again see Mr. Harding. Mr. Harding 
was, he was told, too ill to be seen. Mr. Harding, Mrs. Baxter said, 
could never be seen now by strangers, nor yet by friends, unless they 
were very old friends. " There's been a deal of change since you were 
here last, sir. I remember your coming, sir. You were talking to 



288 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Mr. Harding about the poor clergyman as is to be tried." He did not 
stop to tell Mrs. Baxter the whole story of Mr. Crawley's innocence ; 
but having learned that a message had been received to say that Mrs. 
Arabin would be home on the next Tuesday, this being Friday, he 
took his leave of Mrs. Baxter. His next visit was to Mr. Soames, who 
lived three miles out in the country. 

He found it very difficult to convince Mr. Soames. Mr. Soames 
was more staunch in his belief of Mr. Crawley's guilt than any one 
whom-Toogood had yet encountered. " I never took the cheque out 
of his house," said Mr. Soames. " But you have not stated that on 
oath," said Mr. Toogood. ''No," rejoined the other; " and I nevei 
will. I can't swear to it ; but yet I'm sure of it." He acknowledged 
that he had been driven by a man named Scuttle, and that Scuttle 
might have picked up the cheque, if it had been dropped in the gig. 
But the cheque had not been dropped in the gig. The cheque had 
been dropped in Mr. Crawley's house. " Why did he say then that I 
paid it to him?" said Mr. Soames, when Mr. Toogood spoke con- 
fidently of Crawley's innocence. " Ah, why indeed?" answered 
Toogood. "If he had not been fool enough to do that, we should 
have been saved all this trouble. All the same, he did not steal your 
money, Mr. Soames ; and Jem Scuttle did steal it. Unfortunately, Jem 
Scuttle is in New Zealand by this time." " Of course, it is possible," 
said Mr. Soames, as he bowed Mr. Toogood out. Mr. Soames did not 
like Mr. Toogood. 

That evening a gentleman with a red nose asked at the Barchester 
station for a second-class ticket for London by the up night-mail train. 
He was well known at the station, and the station-master made some 
little inquiry. "All the way to London to-night, Mr. Stringer? " he 
said. 

" Yes, all the way," said the red-nosed man, sulkily. 

" I don't think you'd better go to London to-night, Mr. Stringer," 
said a tall man, stepping out of the door of the booking-office. " I 
think you'd better come back with me to Barchester. I do indeed." 
There was some little argument on the occasion ; but the stranger, who 
was a detective policeman, carried his point, and Mr, Dan Stringer did 
return to Barchester. 



CHAPTER LXXIII. 



THERE IS COMFORT AT PLUMSTEAD. 

ENKY GKANTLY had written 
the following short letter to 
Mrs. Grantly when he made 
up his mind to pull down the 
auctioneer's bills. " DEAR 
MOTHER, I have postponed 
the sale, not liking to refuse 
you anything. As far as I 
can see, I shall still be forced 
to leave Cosby Lodge, as I 
certainly shall do all I can to 
make Grace Crawley my wife. 
I say this that there may be 
no misunderstanding with my 
father. The auctioneer has 
promised to have the bills 
removed. 
" Your affectionate son, 

" HENRY GRANTLY." 
This had been written by the major on the Friday before Mr. 
Walker had brought up to him the tidings of Mr. Toogood and Mrs. 
Arabin's solution of the Crawley difficulty ; but it did not reach 
Plumstead till the following morning. Mrs. Grantly immediately took 
the good news about the sale to her husband, not of course showing 
him the letter, being far too wise for that, and giving him credit for 
being too wise to ask for it. " Henry has arranged with the auctioneer," 
she said joyfully ; " and the bills have been all pulled down." 
" How do you know ? " 

" I've just heard from him. He has told me so. Come, my dear, 
let me have the pleasure of hearing you say that things shall be pleasant 
again between you and him. He has yielded." 
" I don't see much yielding in it." 

" He has done what you wanted. What more can he do ? " 
ff I want him to come over here, and take an interest in things, 
II. xxix. y aj 




290 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

and not treat me as though I were nobody." Within an hour of this 
the major had arrived at Plumstead, laden with the story of Mrs. 
Arabin and the cheque, and of Mr. Crawley's innocence, laden not 
only with such tidings as he had received from Mr. Walker, but also 
with further details, which he had received from Mr. Toogood. For 
he had come through Barchester, and had seen Mr. Toogood on his 
way. This was on the Saturday morning, and he had breakfasted with 
Mr. Toogood at " The Dragon of Wantly." Mr. Toogood had told him 
of his suspicions, how the red-nosed man had been stopped, and had 
been summoned as a witness for Mr. Crawley's trial, and how he was 
now under the surveillance of the police. Grantly had not cared very 
much about the red-nosed man, confining his present solicitude to the 
question whether Grace Crawley's father would certainly be shown to 
have been innocent of the theft. "There's not a doubt about it, 
major," said Mr. Toogood ; " not a doubt on earth. But we'd better 
be a little quiet till your aunt comes home, just a little quiet. She'll 
be here in a day or two, and I won't budge till she conies." In spite 
of his desire for quiescence Mr. Toogood consented to a revelation 
being at once made to the archdeacon and Mrs. Grantly. " And I'll 
tell you what, major ; as soon as ever Mrs. Arabin is here, and has given 
us her own word to act on, you and I will go over to Hogglestock and 
astonish them. I should like to go myself, because, you see, Mrs. 
Crawley is my cousin, and we hav9 taken a little trouble about this 
matter." To this the major assented ; but he altogether declined to 
assist in Mr. Toogood' s speculations respecting the unfortunate Dan 
Stringer. It was agreed between them that for the present no visit 
should be made to the palace, as it was thought that Mr. Thumble had 
better be allowed to do the Hogglestock duties on the next Sunday. 
As matters went, however, Mr. Thumble did not do so. He had paid 
his last visit to Hogglestock. 

It may be as well to explain here that the unfortunate Mr. Snapper 
was constrained to go out to Hogglestock on the Sunday which was now 
approaching, which fell out as follows. It might be all very well for 
Mr. Toogood to arrange that he would not tell this person or that 
person of the news which he had brought down from London ; but as 
he had told various people in Silverbridge, as he had told Mr. Soames, 
and as he had told the police at Barchester, of course the tale found its 
way to the palace. Mr. Thumble heard it, and having come by this time 
thoroughly to hate Hogglestock and all that belonged to it, he pleaded 
to Mr. Snapper that this report afforded ample reason why he need not 
again visit that detestable parish. Mr. Snapper did not see it in the 



THERE IS COMFORT AT PLUMSTEAD. 291 

same light. "You may be sure Mr. Crawley will not get into the 
pulpit after his resignation, Mr. Thumble," said he. 

" His resignation means nothing," said Thumble. 

" It means a great deal," said Snapper; " and the duties must be 
provided for." 

" I won't provide for them," said Thumble ; " and so you may tell 
the bishop." In these days Mr. Thumble was very angry with the 
bishop, for the bishop had not yet seen him since the death of 
Mrs. Proudie. 

Mr. Snapper had no alternative but to go to the bishop. The bishop 
in these days was very mild to those whom he saw, given but to few 
words, and a little astray, as though he had had one of his limbs cut 
off, as Mr. Snapper expressed it to Mrs. Snapper. "I shouldn't 
wonder if he felt as though all his limbs were cut off," said Mrs. 
Snapper ; " you must give him time, and he'll come round by-and- 
by." I am inclined to think that Mrs. Snapper's opinion of the 
bishop's feelings and condition was correct. In his difficulty respect- 
ing Hogglestock and Mr. Thumble Mr. Snapper went to the bishop, 
and spoke perhaps a little harshly of Mr. Thumble. 

" I think, upon the whole, Snapper, that you had better go your- 
self," said the bishop. 

"Do you think so, my lord?" said Snapper. "It will be 
inconvenient." 

" Everything is inconvenient ; but you'd better go. And look here, 
Snapper, if I were you, I wouldn't say anything out at Hogglestock 
about the cheque. We don't know what it may come to yet." Mr. 
Snapper, with a heavy heart, left his patron, not at all liking the task 
that was before him. But his wife encouraged him to be obedient. 
He was the owner of a one-horse carriage, and the work was not, 
therefore, so hard to him as it would have been and had been to poor 
Mr. Thumble. And, moreover, his wife promised to go with him. Mr. 
Snapper and Mrs. Snapper did go over to Hogglestock, and the duty 
was done. Mrs. Snapper spoke a word or two to Mrs. Crawley, and 
Mr. Snapper spoke a word or two to Mr. Crawley ; but not a word was 
said about the new news as to Mr. Soames's cheque, which were now 
almost current in Barchester. Indeed, no whisper about it had as yet 
reached Hogglestock. 

"One word with you, reverend sir," said Mr. Crawley to the 
chaplain, as the latter was coming out of the church, "as to the parish 
work, sir, during the week ; I should be glad if you would favour me 
with your opinion." 

3 M 2 



292 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BARSET. 

" About what, Mr. Crawley ? " 

" Whether you think that I may be allowed, without scandal, to 
visit the sick, and to give instruction in the school." 

" Surely ; surely, Mr. Crawley. Why not ? " 

" Mr. Thumble gave me to understand that the bishop was very 
urgent that I should interfere in no way in the ministrations of the 
parish. Twice did he enjoin on me that I should not interfere, un- 
necessarily, as it seemed to me." 

" Quite unnecessary," said Mr. Snapper. " And the bishop will be 
obliged to you, Mr. Crawley, if you'll just see that the things go on all 
straight." 

' ' I wish it were possible to know with accuracy what his idea of 
straightness is," said Mr. Crawley to his wife. " It maybe that things 
are straight to him when they are buried as it were out of sight, and 
put away without trouble. I hope it be not so with the bishop." 
When he went into his school and remembered, as he did remember 
through every minute of his teaching that he was to receive no portion 
of the poor stipend which was allotted for the clerical duties of ths 
parish, he told himself that there was gross injustice in the way in which 
things were being made straight at Hogglestock. 

But we must go back to the major and to the archdeacon at 
Plumstead, in which comfortable parish things were generally made 
straight more easily than at Hogglestock. Henry Grantly went over 
from Barchester to Plumstead in a gig from the " Dragon," and made 
his way at once into his father's study. The archdeacon was seated 
there with sundry manuscripts before him, and with one half-finished 
manuscript, as was his wont on every Saturday morning. " Halloo, 
Harry," he said. " I didn't expect you in the least." It was barely 
an hour since he had told Mrs. Grantly that his complaint against his 
son was that he wouldn't come and make himself comfortable at the 
rectory. 

" Father," said he, giving the archdeacon his hand, " you have 
heard nothing yet about Mr. Crawley ? " 

" No," said the archdeacon jumping up ; " nothing new ; what is 
it ? " Many ideas about Mr. Crawley at that moment flitted across tho 
archdeacon's mind. Could it be that the unfortunate man had com- 
mitted suicide, overcome by his troubles ? 

" It has all come out. He got the cheque from my aunt." 

" From your aunt Eleanor ? " 

" Yes ; from my aunt Eleanor. She has telegraphed over from 
Venice to say that she gave the identical cheque to Crawley. That is 



THERE IS COMFORT AT PLUMSTEAD. 293 

all we know at present, except that she has written an account of the 
matter to you, and that she will be here herself as quick as she can come." 

Who got the message, Henry ? " 

" Crawley's lawyer, a fellow named Toogood, a cousin of his wife's ; 

a very decent fellow," added the major, remembering how necessary 

it was that he should reconcile his father to all the Crawley belongings. 

" He's to be over here on Monday, and then will arrange what is to be 

.done." 

" Done in what way, Henry ? " 

" There's a great deal to be done yet. Crawley does not know him- 
self at this moment how the cheque got into his hands. He must be 
told, and something must be settled about the living. They've taken 
the living away from him among them. And then the indictment must 
be quashed, or something of that kind done. Toogood has got hold of 
the scoundrel at Barchester who really stole the cheque from Soames ; 
or thinks that he has. It's that Dan Stringer." 

"He's got hold of a regular scamp then. I never knew any good 
of Dan Stringer," said the archdeacon. 

Then Mrs. Grantly was told, and the whole story was repeated 
again, with many expressions of commiseration in reference to all the 
Crawleys. The archdeacon did not join in these at first, being rather shy 
on that head. It was very hard for him to have to speak to his son 
about the Crawleys as though they were people in all respects estimable 
and well-conducted, and satisfactory. Mrs. Grantly understood this so 
well, that every now and then she said some half-laughing word 
respecting Mr. Crawley's peculiarities, feeling that in this way she 
might ease her husband's difficulties. " He must be the oddest man 
that ever lived," said Mrs. Grantly, "not to have known where he got 
the cheque." The archdeacon shook his head, and rubbed his hands 
as he walked about the room. " I suppose too much learning has upset 
him," said the archdeacon. " They say he's not veiy good at talking 
English, but put him on in Greek and he never stops." 

The archdeacon was perfectly aware that he had to admit Mr. 
Crawley to his goodwill, and that as for Grace Crawley, it was essen- 
tially necessary that she should be admitted to his heart of hearts. He 
had promised as much. It must be acknowledged that Archdeacon 
Grantly always kept his promises, and especially such promises as these. 
And indeed it was the nature of the man that when he had been very 
angry with those he loved, he should be unhappy until he had found 
some escape from his anger. He could not endure to have to own him- 
self to have been in the wrong, but he could be content with a very 



294 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

incomplete recognition of his having been in the right. The posters 
had been pulled down and Mr. Crawley, as he was now told, had not 
stolen the cheque. That was sufficient. If his son would only drink a 
glass or two of wine with him comfortably, and talk dutifully about the 
Plumstead foxes, all should be held to be right, and Grace Crawley 
should be received with lavish paternal embraces. The archdeacon had 
kissed Grace once, and felt that he could do so again without an un- 
pleasant strain upon his feelings. 

" Say something to your father about the property after dinner," 
said Mrs. Grantly to her son when they were alone together. 

" About what property ? " 

" About this property, or any property ; you know what I mean ; 
something to show that you are interested about his affairs. He is 
doing the best he can to make things right." After dinner, over the 
claret, Mr. Thome's terrible sin in reference to the trapping of foxes 
was accordingly again brought up, and the archdeacon became beauti- 
fully irate, and expressed his animosity. which he did not in the least 
feel, against an old friend with an energy which would have delighted 
his wife, if she could have heard him. ' ' I shall tell Thorne my mind, 
certainly. He and I are very old friends ; we have known each other 
all our lives ; but I cannot put up with this kind of thing, and I will 
not. It's all because he's afraid of his own gamekeeper." And yet 
the archdeacon had never ridden after a fox in his life, and never meant 
to do so. Nor had ho in truth been always so very anxious that foxes 
should be found in his covers. That fox which had been so fortunately 
trapped just outside the Plumstead property afforded a most pleasant 
escape for the steam of his anger. When he began to talk to his wife 
that evening about Mr. Thome's wicked gamekeeper, she was so sure 
that all was right, that she said a word of her extreme desire to see 
Grace Crawley. 

1 ' If he is to marry her, we might as well have her over here," said 
the archdeacon. 

" That's just what I was thinking," said Mrs. Grantly. And thus 
things at the rectory got themselves arranged. 

On the Sunday morning the expected letter from Venice came to 
hand, and was read on that morning very anxiously, not only by 
Mrs. Grantly and the major, but by the archdeacon also, in spite of the 
sanctity of the day. Indeed the archdeacon had been very stoutly 
anti-sabbatarial when the question of stopping the Sunday post to 
Plumstead had been mooted in the village, giving those who on that 
occasion were the special friends of the postman to understand that ho 



THEKE IS COMFORT AT PLUMSTEAD. 295 

considered them to be numskulls, and little better than idiots. The 
postman, finding the parson to be against him, had seen that there was 
no chance for him, and had allowed the matter to drop. Mrs. Arabin's 
letter was long and eager, and full of repetitions, but it did explain 
clearly to them the exact manner in which the cheque had found its 
way into Mr. Crawley's hand. " Francis came up to me," she said in 
her letter, Francis being her husband, the dean, " and asked me for 
the money, which I had promised to make up in a packet. The packet 
was not ready, and he would not wait, declaring that Mr. Crawley was 
in such a flurry that he did not like to leave him. I was therefore to 
bring it down to the door. I went to my desk, and thinking that I 
could spare the twenty pounds as well as the fifty, I put the cheque 
into the envelope, together with the notes, and handed the packet to 
Francis at the door. I think I told Francis afterwards that I put 
seventy pounds into the envelope, instead of fifty, but of this I will not 
be sure. At any rate, Mr. Crawley got Mr. Soames's cheque from me." 
These last words she underscored, and then went on to explain how the 
cheque had been paid to her a short time before by Dan Stringer. 

" Then Toogood has been right about the fellow," said the 
archdeacon. 

" I hope they'll hang him," said Mrs. Grantly. "He must have 
known ah 1 the time what dreadful misery he was bringing upon this 
unfortunate family." 

" I don't suppose Dan Stringer cared much about that," said the 
major. 

" Not a straw," said the archdeacon, and then all hurried off to 
church ; and the archdeacon preached the sermon in the fabrication of 
which he had been interrupted by his son, and which therefore barely 
enabled him to turn the quarter of an hour from the giving out of 
his text. It was his constant practice to preach for full twenty 
minutes. 

As Barchester lay on the direct road from Plumstead to Hogglestock, 
it was thought well that word should be sent to Mr. Toogood, desiring 
him not to come out to Plumstead on the Monday morning. Major 
Grantly proposed to call for him at " The Dragon," and to take him on 
from thence to Hogglestock. " You had better take your mother's 
horses all through," said the archdeacon. The distance was very nearly 
twenty miles, and it was felt both by the mother and the son, that the 
archdeacon must be in a good humour when he made such a proposition 
as that. It was not often that the rectory carnage-horses were allowed 
to make long journeys. A run into Barchester and back, which 



296 THE LAST CHK6NICLE OF BAKSEl 1 . 

altogether was under ten miles, was generally the extent of their work. 
"I meant to have posted from Barchester," said the major. " You 
may as well take the horses through," said the archdeacon. " Your 
mother will not want them. And I suppose you might as well bring 
your friend Toogood back to dinner. We'll give him a bed." 

"He must be a good sort of man," said Mrs. Grantly ; "for I 
suppose he has done all this for love ? " 

" Yes ; and spent a lot of money out of his own pocket too ! " said 
the major enthusiastically. " And the joke of it is, that he has been 
defending Crawley in Crawley's teeth. Mr. Crawley had refused to 
employ counsel ; but Toogood had made up his mind to have a barrister, 
on purpose that there might be a fuss about it in court. He thought 
that it would tell with the jury in Crawley's favour." 

"Bring him here, and we'll hear all about that from himself," said 
the archdeacon. The major, before he started, told his mother that he 
should call at Framley Parsonage on his way back ; but he said nothing 
on this subject to his father. 

"I'll write to her in a day or two," said Mrs. Grantly, "and we'll 
have things settled pleasantly." 



CHAPTER LXXIV. 

THE CRAWLERS ARE INFORMED. 

MAJOR GRANTLY made an early start, knowing that he had a long day's 
work before him. He had written over-night to Mr. Toogood, naming 
the hour at which he would reach " The Dragon," and was there punc- 
tual to the moment. When the attorney came out and got into the 
open carriage, while the groom held the steps for him, it was plain to 
be seen that the respect in which he was held at " The Dragon " was 
greatly increased. It was already known that he was going to Plum- 
stead that night, and it was partly understood that he was engaged with 
the Grantly and Arabin faction in defending Mr. Crawley the clergyman 
against the Proudie faction. Dan Stringer, who was still at the inn, as 
he saw his enemy get into the Plumstead carriage, felt himself to be 
one of the palace party, and felt that if Mrs. Proudie had only lived till 
after the assizes all this heavy trouble would not have befallen him. 
The waiter with the dirty napkin stood at the door and bowed, thinking 
perhaps that as the Proudie party was going down in Barchester, it 
might be as well to be civil to Mr. Toogood. The days of the Stringers 




'THESE ARE THE YOUNG HOGGLESTOCEJANS ; ARE THEY?' 



THE CRAWLEtS ARE INFORMED. 297 

were probably drawing to a close at " The Dragon of Wantly," and 
there was no knowing who might be the new landlord. 

Henry Grantly and the lawyer found very little to say to each other 
on their long way out to Hogglestock. They were thinking, probably, 
much of the coming interview, and hardly knew how to express their 
thoughts to each other. "I will not take the carnage up to the house," 
said the major, as they were entering the parish of Hogglestock ; 
" particularly as the man must feed the horses." So they got out at a 
farmhouse about half a mile from the church, where the offence of the 
carriage and livery- servant would be well out of Mr. Crawley's sight, and 
from thence walked towards the parsonage. The church, and the school 
close to it, lay on their way, and as they passed by the school door they 
heard voices within. te I'll bet twopence he's there," said Toogood. 
" They tell me he's always either in one shop or the other. I'll slip 
in and bring him out." Mr. Toogood had assumed a comfortable air, 
as though the day's work was to be good pastime, and even made 
occasional attempts at drollery. He had had his jokes about Dan 
Stringer, and had attempted to describe the absurdities of Mr. Crawley's 
visit to Bedford Kow. All this would have angered the major, had he 
not seen that it was assumed to cover something below of which Mr. 
Toogood was a little ashamed, but of which, as the major thought, 
Mr. Toogood had no cause to be ashamed. When, therefore, Toogood 
proposed to go into the school and bring Mr. Crawlcy out, as though 
the telling of their story would be the easiest thing in the world, the 
major did not stop him. Indeed he had no plan of his own ready. His 
mind was too intent on the tragedy which had occurred, and which was 
now to be brought to a close, to enable him to form any plan as to the 
best way of getting up the last scene. So Mr. Toogood, with quick and 
easy steps, entered the school, leaving the major still standing in the 
road. Mr. Crawley was in the school; as was also Jane Crawley. 
" So here you are," said Toogood. " That's fortunate. I hope I 
find you pretty well ? " 

"If I am not mistaken in the identity, my wife's relative, Mr. 
Toogood? " said Mr. Crawley, stepping down from his humble desk. 

"Just so, my friend," said Toogood, with his hand extended, "just 
so ; and there's another gentleman outside who wants to have a word 
with you also. Perhaps you won't mind stepping out. These are the 
young Hogglestockians ; are they ? " 

The young Hogglestockians stared at him, and so did Jane. Jane, 
who had before heard of him, did not like him at first sight, seeing that 
her father was clearly displeased by the tone of the visitor's address. 



298 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Mr. Crawley was displeased. There was a familiarity about Mr. Toogood 
which made him sore, as having been exhibited before his pupils. " If 
you will be pleased to step out, sir, I will follow you," he said, waving 
his hand towards the door. " Jane, my dear, if you will remain with 
the children, I will return to you presently. Bobby Studge has failed 
in saying his Belief. You had better set him on again from the begin- 
ning. Now, Mr. Toogood." And again he waved with his hand 
towards the door. 

" So that's my young cousin, is it ?" said Toogood, stretching over 
and just managing to touch Jane's fingers, of which act of touching 
Jane was very chary. Then he went forth, and Mr. Crawley followed 
him. There was the major standing in the road, and Toogood was 
anxious to be the first to communicate the good news. It was the only 
reward he had proposed to himself for the money he had expended and 
the time he had lost and the trouble he had taken. " It's all right, old 
fellow," he said, clapping his hand on Crawley's shoulder. "We've 
got the right sow by the ear at last. We know all about it." Mr. 
Crawley could hardly remember the time when he had been called an 
old fellow last, and now he did not like it ; nor, in the confusion of his 
rnind, could he understand the allusion to the right sow. He supposed 
that Mr. Crawley had come to him about his trial, but it did not occur 
to him that the lawyer might be bringing him news which might make 
the trial altogether unnecessary. " If my eyes are not mistaken, there 
is my friend, Major Grantly," said Mr. Crawley. 

" There he is, as large as life," said Toogood. " But stop a 
moment before you go to him, and give me your hand. I must have the 
first shake of it." Hereupon Crawley extended his hand. " That's 
right. And now let me tell you we know all about the cheque, 
Soames's cheque. We know where you got it. We know who stole 
it. We know how it came to the person who gave it to you. It's all 
very well talking, but when you're in trouble always go to a lawyer." 

By this time Mr. Crawley was looking full into Mr. Toogood's face, 
and seeing that his cousin's eyes were streaming with tears, began to get 
some insight into the man's character, and also some very dim insight 
into the facts which the man intended to communicate to himself. 
" I do not as yet fully understand you, sir," said he, ''being perhaps in 
such matters somewhat dull of intellect, but it seemeth to me that 
you are a messenger of glad tidings, whose feet are beautiful upon 
the mountains." 

" Beautiful ! " said Toogood. " By George, I should think they are 
beautiful ! Don't you hear me tell you that we have found out all 



THE CRAWLEYS ARE INFORMED. 299 

about the cheque, and that you're as right as a trivet ? " They were 
still on the little causeway leading from the school up to the road, and 
Henry Grantly was waiting for them at the small wicket-gate. " Mr. 
Crawley," said the major, "I congratulate you with all my heart. I 
could not but accompany my friend, Mr. Toogood, when he brought 
you this good news." 

" I do not even yet altogether comprehend what has been told to 
me," said Crawley, now standing out on the road between the other 
two men. " I am doubtless dull, very dull. May I beg some clearer 
word of explanation before I ask you to go with me to my wife ?" 

" The cheque was given to you by my aunt Eleanor." 

" Your aunt Eleanor ! " said Crawley, now altogether in the clouds. 
Who was the major's aunt Eleanor? Though he had, no doubt, at 
different times heard all the circumstances of the connection, he had 
never realized the fact that his daughter's lover was the nephew of his 
old friend, Arabin. 

" Yes ; by my aunt, Mrs. Arabin." 

" She put it into the envelope with the notes," said Toogood; 
" slipped it in without saying a word to any one. I never heard of a 
woman doing such a mad thing in my life before. If she had died, or 
if we hadn't caught her, where should we all have been? Not but 
what I think I should have run Dan Stringer to ground too, and worked 
it out of him." 

"Then, after all, it was given to me by the dean?" said Crawle} r , 
drawing himself up. 

"It was in the envelope, but the dean did not know it," said 
the major. 

" Gentlemen," said Mr. Crawley, " I was sure of it. I knew it. 
Weak as my mind may be, and at times it is very weak, I was 
certain that I could not have erred in such a matter. The more I 
struggled with my memory, the more fixed with me became the fact, 
which I had forgotten but for a moment, that the document had 
formed a part of that small packet handed to me by the dean. But 
look you, sirs, bear with me yet for a moment. I said that it was so, 
and the dean denied it." 

" The dean did not know it, man," said Toogood, almost in a 
passion. 

"Bear with me yet awhile. So far have I been from misdoubting 
the dean, whom I have long known to be in all things a true and 
honest gentleman, that I postponed the elaborated result of my own 
memory to his word. And I felt myself the more constrained to do 



300 THE LAST CHttONlCiLE OF BARSET. 

this, because, in a moment of forgetfulness, in the wantonness of 
inconsiderate haste, with wicked thoughtlessness, I had allowed myself 
to make a false statement, unwittingly false, indeed, nathless very 
false, unpardonahly false. I had declared, without thinking, that the 
money had come to me from the hands of Mr. Soames, thereby seeming 
to cast a reflection upon that gentleman. When I had been guilty of 
so great a blunder, of so gross a violation of that ordinary care which 
should govern all words between man and man, especially when any 
question of money may be in doubt, how could I expect that any one 
should o.ccept my statement when contravened by that made by the 
dean ? How, in such an embarrassment, could I believe my own 
memory ? Gentlemen, I did not believe my own memory. Though 
all the little circumstances of that envelope, with its rich but perilous 
.freightage, came back upon me from time to time with an exactness 
that has appeared to me to be almost marvellous, yet I have told 
myself that it was not so ! Gentlemen, if you please, we will go into 
the house ; my wife is there, and should no longer be left in suspense." 
They passed on in silence for a few steps, till Crawley spoke again. 
" Perhaps you will allow me the privilege to be alone with her for one 
minute, but for a minute. Her thanks shall not be delayed, where 
thanks are so richly due." 

" Of course," said Toogood, wiping his eyes with a large red 
bandana handkerchief. "By all means. We'll take a little walk. 
Come along, major." The major had turned his face away, and he 
also was weeping. " By George ! I never heard such a thing in all my 
life," said Toogood. "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. 
I wouldn't, indeed. If I were to tell that up in London, nobody would 
believe me." 

" I call that man a hero," said Grantly. 

" I don't know about being a hero. I never quite knew what makes 
a hero, if it isn't having three or four girls dying in love for you at 
once. But to find a man who was going to let every thing in the world 
go against him, because he believed another fellow better than himself ! 
There's many a chap thinks another man is wool-gathering ; but this 
man has thought he was wool-gathering himself ! It's not natural ; and 
the world wouldn't go on if there were many like that. He's beckoning, 
and we had better go in." 

Mr. Toogood went first, and the major followed him. When they 
entered the front door they saw the skirt of a woman's dress flitting 
away through the door at the end of the passage, and on entering the 
room to the left they found Mr. Crawley alone. " She has fled, as 



THE CRAWLEYS ARE INFORMED. 301 

though from an enemy," he said, with a little attempt at a laugh ; 
" but I will pursue her, and bring her back." 

" No, Crawley, no," said the lawyer. " She's a little upset, and 
all that kind of thing. We know what women are. Let her alone." 

" Nay, Mr. Toogood ; but then she would be angered with herself 
afterwards, and would lack the comfort of having spoken a word of 
gratitude. Pardon me, Major Grantly ; but I would not have you 
leave us till she has seen you. It is as her cousin says. She is some- 
what over-excited. But still it will be best that she should see you. 
Gentlemen, you will excuse me." 

Then he went out to fetch his wife, and while he was away not a 
word was spoken. The major looked out of one window and Mr. 
Toogood out of the other, and they waited patiently till they heard the 
coming steps of the husband and wife. When the door was opened, 
Mr. Crawley appeared, leading his wife by the hand. " My dear," he 
said, " you know Major Grantly. This is your cousin, Mr. Toogood. 
It is well that you know him too, and remember his great kindness to 
us." But Mrs. Crawley could not speak. She could only sink on the 
sofa, and hide her face, while she strove in vain to repress her sobs. 
She had been very strong through all her husband's troubles, very 
strong in bearing for him what he could not bear for himself, and in 
fighting on his behalf battles in which he was altogether unable to 
couch a lance ; but the endurance of so many troubles, and the great 
overwhelming sorrow at last, had so nearly overpowered her, that she 
could not sustain the shock of this turn in their fortunes. " She was 
never like this, sirs, when ill news came to us," said Mr. Crawley, 
standing somewhat apart from her. 

The major sat himself by her side, and put his hand upon hers, 
and whispered some word to her about her daughter. Upon this she 
threw her arms around him, and kissed his face, and then his hands, 
and then looked up into his face through her tears. She murmured 
some few words, or attempted to do so. I doubt whether the major 
understood their meaning, but he knew very well what was in her heart. 

% ",And now I think we might as well be moving," said Mr. Toogood. 
" I'll see about having the indictment quashed. I'll arrange all that 
with Walker. It may be necessary that you should go into Barchester 
the first day the judges sit ; and if so, I'll come and fetch you. You 
may be sure I won't leave the place till it's all square." 

As they were going, Grantly, speaking now altogether with 
indifference as to Toogood's presence, asked Mr. Crawley's leave to 
be the bearer of these tidings to his daughter. 



302 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" She can hear it in no tones that can be more grateful to her," 
said Mr. Crawley. 

"I shall ask her for nothing for myself now," said Grantly. "It 
would be ungenerous. But hereafter, in a few days, when she 

shall be more at ease, may I then use your permission ? " 

\ "Major Grantly," said Mr. Crawley, solemnly, "I respect you so 
highly, and esteem you so thoroughly, that I give willingly that which 
you ask. If my daughter can bring herself to regard you, as a woman 
should regard her husband, with the love that can worship and cling 
and be constant, she will, I think, have a fair promise of worldly 
Happiness. And for you, sir, in giving to you my girl, if so it be 
that she is given to you, I shall bestow upon you a great treasure." 
Had Grace been a king's daughter, with a queen's dowry, the per- 
mission to address her could not have been imparted to her lover with 
a more thorough appreciation of the value of the privilege conferred. 

" He is a rum 'un," said Mr. Toogood, as they got into the carriage 
together ; " but they say he's a very good 'un to go." 

After their departure Jane was sent for, that she might hear the 
family news ; and when she expressed some feeling not altogether in 
favour of Mr. Toogood, Mr. Crawley thus strove to correct her views. 
"He is a man, my dear, who conceals a warm heart, and an active 
spirit, and healthy sympathies, under an affected jocularity of manner, 
and almost with a touch of assumed vulgarity. But when the jewel 
itself is good, any fault in the casket may be forgiven." 

"Then, papa, the next time I see him I'll like him, if I can," 
said Jane. 

The village of Framley lies slightly off the road from Hogglestock 
to Barchester, so much so as to add perhaps a mile to the journey if 
the traveller goes by the parsonage gate. On their route to Hogglestock 
our two travellers had passed Framley without visiting the village, but 
on the return journey the major asked Mr. Toogood's permission to 
make the deviation. " I'm not in a hurry," said Toogood. "I never 
was more comfortable in my life. I'll just light a cigar while you go 
in and see your friends." Toogood lit his cigar, and the major, getting 
down from the carnage, entered the parsonage. It was his fortune to 
find Grace alone. Eobarts was in Barchester, and Mrs. Robarts was 
across the road, at Lufton Court. " Miss Crawley was certainly in," 
the servant told him, and he soon found himself in Miss Crawley's 
presence. 

"I have only called to tell you the news about your father," 
said he. 



THE CRAWLEYS ARE INFORMED. 303 

" What news ?" 

" We have just come from Hogglestock, your cousin, Mr. Toogood, 
that is, and myself. They have found out all about the cheque. My 
aunt, Mrs. Arabia, the dean's wife, you know, she gave it to your 
father." 

" Oh, Major Grantly ! " 

" It seems so easily settled, does it not ? " 

"And is it settled?" 

"Yes; everything. Everything about that." Now he had hold 
of her hand as if he were going. " Good-by. I told your father that 
I would just call and tell you." 

" It seems almost more than I can believe." 

" You may believe it; indeed you may." He still held her hand. 
*' You will write to your mother I daresay to-night. Tell her I was 
here. Good-by now." 

" Good-by," she said. Her hand was still in his, as she looked up 
into his face. 

" Dear, dear, dearest Grace ! My darling Grace ! " Then he took 
her into his arms and kissed her, and went his way without another 
word, feeling that he had kept his word to her father like a gentleman. 
Grace, when she was left alone, thought that she was the happiest girl 
in Christendom. If she could only get to her mother, and tell every- 
thing, and be told everything ! She had no idea of any promise that 
her lover might have made to her father, nor did she make inquiry of 
her own thoughts as to his reasons for staying with her so short a 
time ; but looking back at it all she thought his conduct had been 
perfect. 

In the meantime the major, with Mr. Toogood, was driven home to 
dinner at Barchester. 



CHAPTER LXXV. 
MADALINA'S HEART IS BLEEDING. 

JOHN EAMES, as soon as he had left Mrs. Arabin at the hotel and had 
taken his travelling-bag to his own lodgings, started off for his uncle 
Toogood's house. There he found Mrs. Toogood, not in the most 
serene state of mind as to her husband's absence. Mr. Toogood had 
now been at Barchester for the best part of a week, spending a good 
deal of money at the inn. Mrs. Toogood was quite sure that he must 
be doing that. Indeed, how could he help himself ? Johnny remarked 
that he did not see how in such circumstances his uncle was to help 
himself. And then Mr. Toogood had only written one short scrap of 
a letter, -just three words, and they were written in triumph. " Crawley 
is all right, and I think I've got the real Simon Pure by the heels." 
" It's all very well, John," Mrs. Toogood said ; " and of course it would 
be a terrible thing to the family if anybody connected with it were made 
out to be a thief." " It would be quite dreadful," said Johnny. " Not 
that I ever looked upon the Crawley s as connections of ours. But, 
however, let that pass. I'm sure I'm very glad that your uncle should 
have been able to be of service to them. But there's reason in the 
roasting of eggs, and I can tell you that money is not so plenty in this 
house, that your uncle can afford to throw it into the Barchester gutters. 
Think what twelve children are, John. It might be all very well if 
Toogood were a bachelor, and if some lord had left him a fortune." 
John Eames did not stay very long in Tavistock Square. His cousins 
Polly and Lucy were gone to the play with Mr. Summerkin, and his 
aunt was not in one of her best humours. He took his uncle's part 
as well as he could, and then left Mrs. Toogood. The little allusion 
to Lord De Guest's generosity had not been pleasant to him. It seemed 
to rob him of all his own merit. He had been rather proud of his 
journey to Italy, having contrived to spend nearly forty pounds in ten 
days. He had done everything in the most expensive way, feeling that 
eveiy napoleon wasted had been laid out on behalf of Mr. Crawley. 
But, as Mrs. Toogood had just told him, all this was nothing to what 
Toogood was doing. Toogood with twelve children was living at his 
own charges at Barchester, and was neglecting his business besides. 
" There's Mr. Crump," said Mrs. Toogood. " Of course he doesn't 



MADALINA'S HEART IS BLEEDING. 305 

like it, and what can I say to him when he comes to rue ? " This was 
not quite fair on the part of Mrs. Toogood, as Mr. Crump had not 
troubled her even once as yet since her husband's departure. 

What was Johnny to do, when he left Tavistock Square ? His club 
was open to him. Should he go to his club, play a game of billiards, 
and have some supper ? When he asked himself the question he knew 
that he would not go to his club, and yet he pretended to doubt about 
it, as he made his way to a cabstand in Tottenham Court Road. It 
would be slow, he told himself, to go to his club. He would have gono 
to see Lily Dale, only that his intimacy with Mrs. Thome was not 
sufficient to justify his calling at her house between nine and ten 
o'clock at night. But, as he must go somewhere, and as his intimacy 
with Lady Demolines was, he thought, sufficient to justify almost 
anything, he would go to Bayswater. I regret to say that he had 
written a mysterious note from Paris to Madalina Demolines, saying 
that he should be in London on this very night, and that it was just on 
the cards that he might make his way up to Porchester Terrace before 
he went to bed. The note was mysterious, because it had neither 
beginning nor ending. It did not contain even initials. It was written 
like a telegraph message, and was about as long. It was the kind of 
thing Miss Demolines liked, Johnny thought ; and there could be no 
reason why he should not gratify her. It was her favourite game. 
Some people like whist, some like croquet, and some like intrigue. 
Madalina would probably have called it romance, because by nature 
she was romantic. John, who was made of sterner stuff, laughed at 
this. He knew that there was no romance in it. He knew that he 
was only amusing himself, and gratifying her at the same time, by 
a little innocent pretence. He told himself that it was his nature to 
prefer the society of women to that of men. He would have liked the 
society of Lily Dale, no doubt, much better than that of Miss Demolines ; 
but as the society of Lily Dale was not to be had at that moment, the 
society of Miss Demolines was the best substitute within his reach. 
So he got into a cab and had himself driven to Porchester Terrace. 
"Is Lady Demolines at home? " he said to the servant. He always 
asked for Lady Demolines. But the page who was accustomed to 
open the door for him was less false, being young, and would now tell 
him, without any further fiction, that Miss Madalina was in the 
drawing-room. Such was the answer he got from the page on this 
evening. What Madalina did with her mother on these occasions he 
had never yet discovered. There used to be some little excuses given 
about Lady Demolines' state of health, but latterly Madalina had dis- 

II. xxix. 3 N 



806 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAfcSET. 

continued her references to her mother's headaches. She was standing 
in the centre of the drawing-room when he entered it, with both her 
hands raised, and an almost terrible expression of mystery in her face. 
Her hair, however, had been very carefully arranged so as to fall with 
copious carelessness down her shoulders, and altogether she was looking 
her best. " Oh, John," she said. She called him John by accident 
in the tumult of the moment. " Have you heard what has happened ? 
But of course you have heard it." 

"Heard what? I have heard nothing," said Johnny, arrested 
almost in the doorway by the nature of the question, and partly also, 
no doubt, by the tumult of the moment. He had no idea how terrible 
a tragedy was in truth in store for him ; but he perceived that the 
moment was to be tumultuous, and that he must carry himself 
accordingly. 

" Come in, and close the door," she said. He came in and closed 
the door. " Do you mean to say that you haven't heard what has 
happened in Hook Court ? " 

"No; what has happened in Hook Court?" Miss Demolines 
threw herself back into an arm-chair, closed her eyes, and clasped both 
her hands upon her forehead. " What has happened in Hook Court ? " 
said Johnny, walking up to her. 

" I do not think I can bring myself to tell you," she answered. 

Then he took one of her hands down from her forehead and held it 
in his, which she allowed passively. She was thinking, no doubt, of 
something far different from that. 

" I never saw you looking better in my life," said Johnny. 

"Don't,"* said she. "How can you talk in that way, when my 
heart is bleeding, bleeding." Then she pulled away her hand, and 
again clasped it with the other upon her forehead. 

" But why is your heart bleeding ? What has happened in Hook 

Court ? " Still she answered nothing, but she sobbed violently and the 

heaving of her bosom showed how tumultuous was the tumult within it. 

" You don't mean to say that Dobbs Broughton has come to grief ; 

that he's to be sold out ?" 

" Man," said Madalina, jumping from her chair, standing at her full 
height, and stretching out both her arms, " he has destroyed himself! " 
The revelation was at last made with so much tragic propriety, in so 
excellent a tone, and with such an absence of all the customary redun- 
dances of commonplace relation, that I think that she must have 
rehearsed the scene, either with her mother or with the page. Then 
there was a minute's silence, during which she did not move even an 



MADALINA'S HEART IS BLEEDING. 807 

eyelid. She held her outstretched hands without dropping a finger 
half an inch. Her face was thrust forward, her chin projecting, with 
tragic horror ; but there was no vacillation even in her chin. She did 
not wink an eye, or alter to the breadth of a hair the aperture of her 
lips. Surely she was a great genius if she did it all without previous 
rehearsal. Then, before he had thought of words in which to answer 
her, she let her hands fall by her side, she closed her eyes, and shook 
her head, and fell back again into her chair. " It is too horrible to be 
spoken of, to be thought about," she said. " I could not have brought 
myself to tell the tale to a living being, except to you." 

This would naturally have been flattering to Johnny had it not been 
that he was in truth absorbed by the story which he had heard. 

" Do you mean to tell me," he said, " that Broughton has com- 
mitted suicide? " She could not speak of it again, but nodded her 
head at him thrice, while her eyes were still closed. " And how was 
the manner of it ? " said he, asking the question in a low voice. He 
could not even as yet quite bring himself to believe it. Madalina was so 
fond of a little playful intrigue, that even this story might have some- 
thing in it of the nature of fiction. He was not quite sure of the facts, 
and yet he was shocked by what he had heard. 

"Would you have me repeat to you all the bloody details of that 
terrible scene?" she said. "It is impossible. Go to your friend 
Dalrymple. He will tell you. He knows it all. He has been with 
Maria all through. I wish, I wish it had not been so." But never- 
theless she did bring herself to narrate all the details with something 
more of circumstance than Eames desired. She soon succeeded in 
making him understand that the tragedy of Hook Court was a reality, 
and that poor Dobbs Broughton had brought his career to an untimely 
end. She had heard everything, having indeed gone to Musselboro in 
the City, and having penetrated even to the sanctum of Mr. Bangles. 
To Mr. Bangles she had explained that she was bosom-friend of the 
widow of the unfortunate man, and that it was her miserable duty to 
make herself the mistress of all the circumstances. Mr. Bangles, the 
reader may remember him, Burton and Bangles, who kept the stores 
for Himalaya wines at 22s. 6d. the dozen, in Hook Court, was a 
bachelor, and rather liked the visit, and told Miss Demolines very freely 
all he had seen. And when she suggested that it might be expedient 
for the sake of the family that she should come back to Mr. Bangles 
for further information at a subsequent period, he very politely assured 
her that she would " do him proud," whenever she might please to call 
in Hook Court. And then he saw her into Lombard Street, and put 



308 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

her into an omnibus. She was therefore well qualified to tell Johnny 
all the particulars of the tragedy, and she did so far overcome her 
horror as to tell them all. She told her tale somewhat after the manner 
of uiEneas, not forgetting " the quorum pars magna fui." " I feel that 
it almost makes an old woman of me," said she, when she had finished. 

" No," said Johnny, remonstrating ; " not that." 

" But it does. To have been concerned in so terrible a tragedy 
takes more of life out of one than years of tranquil existence." As she 
had told him nothing of her intercourse with Bangles, with Bangles 
who had literally picked the poor wretch up, he did not see how she 
herself had been concerned in the matter ; but he said nothing about 
that, knowing the character of his Madalina. " I shall see that 
body, floating before my eyes while I live," she said, " and the gor} T 

wound, and, and " " Don't," said Johnny, recoiling in truth from 

the picture, by which he was revolted. "Never again," she said; 
" never again ! But you forced it from me, and now I shall not close 
my eyes for a week." 

She then became very comfortably confidential, and discussed the 
affairs of poor Mrs. Dobbs Broughton with a great deal of satisfaction. 
" I went to see her, of course, but she sent me down word to say that 
the shock would be too much for her. I do not wonder that she should 
not see me. Poor Maria ! She came to me for advice, you know, 
when Dobbs Broughton first proposed to her ; and I was obliged to tell 
her what I really thought. I knew her character so well ! 'Dear Maria,' 
I said, ' if you think that yon can love him, take him ! ' 'I think 
I can,' she replied. 'But,' said I, 'make yourself quite sure about the 
business.' And how has it turned out ? She never loved him. What 
heart she has she has given to that wretched Dalrymple." 

" I don't see that he is particularly wretched," said Johnny, pleading 
for his friend. 

"He is wretched, and so you'll find. She gave him her heart after 
giving her hand to poor Dobbs ; and as for the business, there isn't as 
much left as will pay for her mourning. I don't wonder that she could 
not bring herself to see me." 

" And what has become of the business ?" 

"It belongs to Mrs. Van Sievcr, to her and Musselboro. Poor 
Broughton had some little money, and it has gone among them. 
Musselboro, who never had a pemry, will be a rich man. Of course 
you know that he is going to marry Clara ?" 

" Nonsense ! " 

" I always told you that it would be so. And nott you may perhaps 



MADALINA'S HEART IS BLEEDING. 309 

acknowledge that Conway Dalrymple's prospects are not very brilliant. 
I hope he likes being cut out by Mr. Musselboro ! Of course he will 
have to marry Maria. I do not see how he can escape. Indeed, she 
is too good for him ; only after such a marriage as that, there would 
be an end to all his prospects as an artist. The best thing for them 
would be to go to New Zealand." 

John Eames certainly liked these evenings with Miss Demolines. 
He sat at his ease in a comfortable chair, and amused himself by watch- 
ing her different little plots. And then she had bright eyes, and she 
flattered him, and allowed him to scold her occasionally. And now and 
again there might be some more potent attraction, when she would 
admit him to take her hand, or the like. It was better than to sit 
smoking with men at the club. But he could not sit all night even 
with Madalina Demolines, and at eleven he got up to take his leave. 
" When shall you see Miss Dale ?" she asked him suddenly. 

" I do not know," he answered, frowning at her. He always frowned 
at her when she spoke to him of Miss Dale. 

" I do not in the least care for your frowns," she said playfully, 
putting up her hands to smooth his brows. " I think I know you inti- 
mately enough to name your goddess to you." 

" She isn't my goddess." 

"A very cold goddess, I should think, from what I hear. I wish 
to ask you for a promise respecting her." 

"What promise?" 

" Will you grant it me ? " 

" How can I tell till I hear ?" 

f{ You must promise me not to speak of me to her when you see her*" 

" But why must I promise that ? " 

" Promise me.' ; 

" Not unless you tell me why." Johnny had already assured himself 
that nothing could be more improbable than that he should mention the 
name of Miss Demolines to Lily Dale. 

" Very well, sir. Then you may go. And I must say that unless 
you can comply with so slight a request as that, I shall not care to see 
you here again. Mr. Eames, why should you want to speak evil of me 
to Miss Dale ? " 

" I do not want to speak evil of you." 

" I know that you could not speak of me to her without at least 
ridicule. Come, promise me. You shall come here on Thursday 
evening, and I will tell you why I have asked you." 

" Tell me now." 



BIO THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

She hesitated a moment, and then shook her head. " No. I cannot 
tell you now. My heart is still bleeding with the memory of that poor 
man's fate. I will not tell you now. And yet it is now that you must 
give me the promise. Will you not trust me so far as that ? " 

" I will not speak of you to Miss Dale." 

" There is my own Mend ! And now, John, mind you are here at 
half-past eight on Thursday. Punctually at half-past eight. There is 
a thing I have to tell you, which I will tell you then if you will come. 
I had thought to have told you to-day." 

" And why not now ? " 

" I cannot. My feelings are too many for me. I should never go 
through with it after all that has passed between us about poor 
Broughton. I should break down ; indeed I should. Go now, for I 
am tired." Then, having probably taken a momentary advantage of 
that more potent attraction to which we have before alluded, he left the 
room very suddenly. 

He left the room very suddenly because Madalina's movements had 
been so sudden, and her words so full of impulse. He had become 
aware that in this little game which he was playing in Porchester Terrace 
everything ought to be done after some unaccustomed and special 
fashion. So, having clasped Madalina for one moment in his arms, 
he made a rush at the room door, and was out on the landing in a 
second. He was a little too quick for old Lady Demolines, the skirt of 
whose night-dress, as it seemed to Johnny, he saw whisking away, in 
at another door. It was nothing, however, to him if old Lady Demolines, 
who was always too ill to be seen, chose to roam about her own house 
in her night-dress. 

When he found himself alone in the street, his mind reverted to 
Dobbs Broughton and the fate of the wretched man, and he sauntered 
slowly down Palace Gardens, that he might look at the house in which 
he had dined with a man who had destroyed himself by his own hands. 
He stood for a moment looking up at the windows, in which there was 
now no light, thinking of the poor woman whom he had seen in the 
midst of luxury, and who was now left a widow in such miserable 
circumstances ! As for the suggestion that his friend Conway would 
marry her, he did not believe it for a moment. He knew too well what 
the suggestions of his Madalina were worth, and the motives from which 
they sprung. But he thought it might be true that Mrs. Yan Siever 
had absorbed all there was of property, and possibly, also, that 
Musselboro was to marry her daughter. At any rate, he would go to 
Dalrymple's rooms, and if he could find him, would learn the truth. 



MABALINA'S HEART IS BLEEDING. 311 

He knew enough of Dalryinple's ways of life, and of the ways of his 
friend's chambers and studio, to care nothing for the lateness of the 
hour, and in a very few minutes he was sitting in Dalrymple's arm- 
chair. He found Siph Dunn there, smoking in unperturbed tranquillity, 
and as long as that lasted he could ask no questions about Mrs. 
Broughton. He told them, therefore, of his adventures abroad, and of 
Crawley's escape. But at last, having finished his third pipe, Siph 
Dunn took his leave. 

" Tell me," said John, as soon as Dunn had closed the door, 
" what is this I hear about Dobbs Broughton ? " 

" He has blown his brains out. That is all." 

" How terribly shocking ! " 

" Yes ; it shocked us all at first. We are used to it now." 

" And the business ? " 

" That had gone to the dogs. They say at least that his share of 
it had done so." 

" And he was ruined ? " 

" They say so. That is, Musselboro says so, and Mrs. Van Siever." 

" And what do you say, Conway? " 

" The less I say the better. I have my hopes, only you're such a 
talkative fellow, one can't trust you." 

" I never told any secret of yours, old fellow." 

" Well ; the fact is, I have an idea that something may be saved 
for the poor woman. I think that they are wronging her. Of course 
all I can do is to put the matter into a lawyer's hands, and pay the 
lawyer's bill. So I went to your cousin, and he has taken the case up. 
I hope he won't ruin me." 

" Then I suppose you are quarrelling with Mrs. Van ? " 

" That doesn't matter. She has quarrelled with me." 

" And what about Jael, Conway ? They tell me that Jael is going 
to become Mrs. Musselboro." 

" Who has told you that ? " 

" A bird." 

" Yes ; I know who the bird is. I don't think that Jael will become 
Mrs. Musselboro. I don't think that Jael would become Mrs. Musselboro, 
if Jael were the only woman, and Musselboro the only man in London. 
To tell you a little bit of secret, Johnny, I think that Jael will become 
the wife of one Conway Dalrymple. That is my opinion ; and as far as 
I can judge, it is the opinion of Jael also." 

" But not the opinion of Mrs. Van. The bird told me another 
thing, Conway." 



312 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" What was the other thing ? " 

1 ' The bird hinted that all this would end in your marrying the 
widow of that poor wretch who destroyed himself." 

" Johnny, my boy," said the artist, after a moment's silence, " if I 
give you a bit of advice, will you profit by it ? " 

" I'll try, if it's not disagreeable." 

" Whether you profit by it, or whether you do not, keep it to your- 
self. I know the bird better than you do, and I strongly caution you 
to beware of the bird. The bird is a bird of prey, and altogether an 
unclean bird. The bird wants a mate and doesn't much care how she 
finds one. And the bird wants money, and doesn't much care how she 
gets it. The bird is a decidedly bad bird, and not at all fit to take the 
place of domestic hen in a decent farmyard. In plain English, Johnny, 
you'll find some day, if you go over too often to Porchester Terrace, 
either that you are going to marry the bird, or else that you are 
employing your cousin Toogood for your defence in an action for breach 
of promise, brought against you by that venerable old bird, the bird's 
mamma." 

" If it's to be either, it will be the latter," said Johnny as he took 
up his hat to go away. 



CHAPTER LXXYI. 



T0 



I THINK HE IS LIGHT OF HEART. 

RS. ARABIN remained one day 
in town. Mr. Toogood, in spite 
of his asseveration that he would 
not budge from Barchester till 
he had seen Mr. Crawley through 
all his troubles, did run up to 
London as soon as the news 
reached him that John Eames 
had returned. He came up 
and took Mrs. Arabia's depo- 
sition, which he sent down to 
Mr. Walker. It might still be 
necessary, Mrs. Arabin was 
told, that she should go into 
court, and there state on oath 
that she had given the cheque 
to Mr. Crawley ; but Mr. 
Walker was of opinion that 
the circumstances would enable the judge to call upon the grand jury 
not to find a true bill against Mr. Crawley, and that the whole affair, 
as far as Mr. Crawley was concerned, would thus be brought to an end. 
Toogood was still very anxious to place Dan Stringer in the dock, but 
Mr. Walker declared that they would fail if they made the attempt. 
Dan had been examined before the magistrates at Barchester, and had 
persisted in his statement that he had heard nothing about Mr. Crawley 
and the cheque. This he said in the teeth of the words which had 
fallen from him unawares in the presence of Mr. Toogood. But they 
could not punish him for a lie, not even for such a lie as that ! He 
was not upon oath, and they could not make him responsible to tho 
law because he had held his tongue upon a matter as to which it was 
manifest to them all that he had known the whole history during the 
entire period of Mr. Crawley's persecution. They could only call upon 
him to account for his possession of the cheque, and this he did by 
saying it had been paid to him by Jem Scuttle, who received all moneys 

II. XXX. 3 Q 




314 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

appertaining to the hotel stables, and accounted for them once a week. 
Jem Scuttle had simply told him that he had taken the cheque from 
Mr. Soames, and Jem had since gone to New Zealand. It was quite 
true that Jem's departure had followed suspiciously close upon the 
payment of the rent to Mrs. Arahin, and that Jem had been in close 
amity with Dan Stringer up to the moment of his departure. That 
Dan Stringer had not become honestly possessed of the cheque, every- 
body knew; but, nevertheless, the magistrates were of opinion, Mr. 
Walker coinciding with them, that there was no evidence against him 
sufficient to secure a conviction. The story, however, of Mr. Crawley's 
injuries was so well known in Barchester, and the feeling against the 
man who had permitted him to be thus injured was so strong, that 
Dan Stringer did not altogether escape without punishment. Some 
rough spirits in Barchester called one night at " The Dragon of 
Wantly," and begged that Mr. Dan Stringer would be kind enough to 
come out and take a walk with them that evening ; and when it was inti- 
mated to them that Dan Stringer had not just then any desire for such 
exercise, they requested to be allowed to go into the back parlour and 
make an evening with Dan Stringer in that recess. There was a terrible 
row at "The Dragon of Wantly" that night, and Dan with difficulty 
was rescued by the police. On the following morning he was smuggled 
out of Barchester by an early train, and has never more been seen in 
that city. Humours of him, however, were soon heard, from which it 
appeared that he had made himself acquainted with the casual ward of 
more than one workhouse in London. His cousin John left the inn 
almost immediately, as, indeed, he must have done had there been no 
question of Mr. Soames' s cheque, and then there was nothing more 
heard of the Stringers in Barchester. 

Mrs. Arabin remained in town one day, and would have remained 
longer, waiting for her husband, had not a letter from his sister im- 
pressed upon her that it might be as well that she should be with their 
father as soon as possible. " I don't mean to make you think that 
there is any immediate danger," Mrs. Grantly said, "and, indeed, we 
cannot say that he is ill ; but it seems that the extremity of old age has 
come upon him almost suddenly, and tnat he is as weak as a child. 
His only delight is with the children, especially with Posy, whose 
gravity in her management of him is wonderful. He has not left his 
room now for more than a week, and he eats very little. It may be 
that he will live yet for years ; but I should be deceiving you if I did 
not let you know that both the archdeacon and I think that the time of 
his departure from us is near at hand." After reading this letter. 



I THINK HE IS LIGHT OF HEAKT. 315 

Mrs. Arabin could not wait in town for her husband, even though he was 
expected in two days, and though she had been told that her presence at 
Barchester was not immediately required on behalf of Mr. Crawley. 

But during that one day she kept her promise to John Eanies by 
going to Lily Dale. Mrs. Arabin had become very fond of Johnny, 
and felt that he deserved the prize which he had been so long trying to 
win. The reader, perhaps, may not agree with Mrs. Arabin. The 
reader, who may have caught a closer insight into Johnny's cha- 
racter than Mrs. Arabin had obtained, may, perhaps, think that a 
young man who could amuse himself with Miss Demolines was 
unworthy of Lily Dale. If so, I may declare for myself that I and 
the reader are not in accord about John Eames. It is hard to measure 
worth and worthlessness in such matters, as there is no standard for 
such measurement. My old friend John was certainly no hero, was 
very unheroic in many phases of his life ; but then, if all the girls are 
to wait for heroes, I fear that the difficulties in the way of matrimonial 
arrangements, great as they are at present, will be very seriously 
enhanced. Johnny was not ecstatic, nor heroic, nor transcendental, 
nor very beautiful in his manliness ; he was not a man to break his 
heart for love, or to have his story written in an epic ; but he was an 
affectionate, kindly, honest young man; and I think most girls might 
have done worse than take him. Whether he was wise to ask assistance 
in his love-making so often as he had done, that may be another question. 

Mrs. Arabin was intimately acquainted with Mrs. Thorne, and 
therefore there was nothing odd in her going to Mrs. Thome's house. 
Mrs. Thorne was very glad to see her, and told her all the Barsetshire 
news, much more than Mrs. Arabin would have learned in a week at 
the deanery ; for Mrs. Thorne had a marvellous gift of picking up news. 
She had already heard the whole story of Mr. Soames's cheque, and 
expressed her conviction that the least that could be done in amends to 
Mr. Crawley was to make him a bishop. " And you see the palace is 
vacant," said Mrs. Thorne. 

" The palace vacant ! " said Mrs. Arabin. 

" It is just as good. Now that Mrs. Proudie has gone I don't suppose 
the poor bishop will count for much. I can assure you, Mrs. Arabin, 
I felt that poor woman's death so much ! She used to regard me as 
one of the staunchest of the Proudieites ! She once whispered to me 
such a delightfully wicked story about the dean and the archdeacon. 
When I told her that they were my particular friends, she put on a look 
of horror. But I don't think she believed me." Then Emily Dunstable 
entered the room, and with her came Lily Dale. Mrs. Arabin had 

So 2 



316 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BAESET. 

never before seen Lily, and of course they were introduced. " I am 
sorry to say Miss Dale is going home to Allington to-morrow," said 
Emily. " But she is coming to Chaldicotes in May," said Mrs. Thorne. 
" Of course, Mrs. Arabin, you know what gala doings we are going to 
have in May ?" Then there were various civil little speeches made on 
each side, and Mrs. Arabin expressed a wish that she might meet 
Miss Dale again in Barsetshire. But all this did not bring her at all 
nearer to her object. 

" I particularly wish to say a word to Miss Dale, here to-day, if she 
will allow me," said Mrs. Arabin. 

" I'm sure she will, twenty words ; won't you, Lily?" said Mrs. 
Thorne, preparing to leave the room. Then Mrs. Arabin apologized, 
and Mrs. Thorne, bustling up, said that it did not signify, and Lily, 
remaining quite still on the sofa, wondered what it was all about, and 
in two minutes Lily and Mrs. Arabin were alone together. Lily had 
just time to surmise that Mrs. Arabin's visit must have some reference 
to Mr. Crosbie, remembering that Crosbie had married his wife out of 
Barsetshire, and forgetting altogether that Mrs. Arabin had been just 
brought home from Italy by John Eames. 

"I am afraid, Miss Dale, you will think me very impertinent," said 
Mrs. Arabin. 

" I am sure I shall not think that," said Lily. 

" I believe you knew, before Mr. Eames started, that he was going to 
Italy to find me and my husband ? " said Mrs. Arabin. Then Lily put 
Mr. Crosbie altogether out of her head, and became aware that he was 
not to be the subject of the coming conversation. She was almost 
sorry that it was so. There was no doubt in her mind as to what she 
would have said to any one who might have taken up Crosbie's cause. 
On that matter she could now have given a very decisive answer in a 
few words. But on that other matter she was much more in doubt. 
She remembered, however, every word of the note she had received 
from M. D. She remembered also the words of John's note to that 
young woman. And her heart was still hard against him. "Yes," 
she said ; " Mr. Eames came here one night and told us why he was 
going. I was very glad that he was going, because I thought it was 
right." 

" You know, of course, how successful he has been ? It was I who 
gave the cheque to Mr. Crawley." 

" So Mrs. Thorne has heard. Dr. Thorne has written to tell her 
the whole story." 

"And now I've come to look for Mr. Eames's reward." 



I THINK HE IS LIGHT OF HEAKT. 317 

4 'His reward, Mrs. Arabin ?" 

" Yes ; or rather to plead for him. You will not, I hope, be angry 
with him because he has told me much of his history while we were 
travelling home alone together." 

" Oh, no," said Lily, smiling. " How could he have chosen a better 
friend in whom to trust ? " 

" He could certainly have chosen none who would take his part 
more sincerely. He is so good and so amiable ! He is so pleasant in his 
ways, and so fitted to make a woman happy ! And then, Miss Dale, 
he is also so devoted ! " 

11 He is an old friend of ours, Mrs. Arabin." 

" So he has told me." 

" And we all of us love him dearly. Mamma is very much attached 
to him." 

" Unless he flatters himself, there is no one belonging to you who 
would not wish that he should be nearer and dearer still." 

"It may be so. I do not say that it is not so. Mamma and my 
uncle are both fond of him." 

" And does not that go a long way ?" said Mrs. Arabin. 

" It ought not to do so," said Lily. "It ought not to go any way 
at all." 

" Ought it not ? It seems to me that I could never have brought 
myself to many any one whom my old friends had not liked." 

" Ah ! that is another thing." 

"But is it not a recommendation to a man that he has been so 
successful with your friends as to make them all feel that you might 
trust yourself to him with perfect safety ? " To this Lily made no 
answer, and Mrs. Arabin went on to plead her friend's cause with all the 
eloquence she could use, insisting on all his virtues, his good temper, 
his kindness, his constancy, and not forgetting the fact that the world 
was inclined to use him very well. Still Lily made no answer. She 
had promised Mrs. Arabin that she would not regard her interference as 
impertinent, and therefore she refrained from any word that might seem 
to show offence. Nor did she feel offence. It was something gained 
by John Earnes in Lily's estimation that he should have such a friend 
as Mrs. Arabin to take an interest in his welfare. But there was a self- 
dependence, perhaps one may call it an obstinacy about Lily Dale, which 
made her determined that she would not be driven hither or thither by 
any pressure from without. Why had John Eames, at the very moment 
when he should have been doing his best to drive from her breast the 
memory of past follies, when he would have striven to do so had he 



318 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BARSET. 

really been earnest in his suit, why at such a moment had he allowed 
himself to correspond in terms of affection with such a woman as this 
M. D. ? While Mrs. Arabin was pleading for John Eames, Lily was 
repeating to herself certain words which John had written to the woman 
"Ever and always yours unalterably." Such were not the exact 
words, but such was the form in which Lily, dishonestly, chose to 
repeat them to herself. And why was it so with her ? In the old days 
she would have forgiven Crosbie any offence at a word or a look, any 
possible letter to any M. D., let her have been ever so abominable ! 
Nay, had she not even forgiven him the offence of deserting herself 
altogether on behalf of a woman as detestable as could be any M. D. of 
Johnny's choosing ; a woman whose only recommendation had been 
her title ? And yet she would not forgive John Eames, though the 
evidence against him was of so flimsy a nature, but rather strove to 
turn the ninisiness of that evidence into strength ! Why was it so ? 
Unheroic as he might be, John Eames was surely a better man and a 
bigger man than Adolphus Crosbie. It was simply this; she had fallen 
in love with the one, and had never fallen in love with the other ! She 
had fallen in love with the one man, though in her simple way she had 
made a struggle against such feeling ; and she had not come to love the 
other man, though she had told herself that it would be well that she 
should do so if it were possible. Again and again she had half declared 
to herself that she would take him as her husband and leave the love to 
come afterwards ; but when the moment came for doing so, she could 
not do it. 

" May I not say a word of comfort to him ? " said Mrs. Arabin. 

" He will be very comfortable without any such word," said Lily, 
laughing. 

"But he is not comfortable; of that you may be very sure." 
"Yours ever and unalterably, J. E.," said Lily to herself. " You do 
not doubt his affection ? " continued Mrs Arabin. 

" I neither doubt it nor credit it." 

" Then I think you wrong him. And the reason why I have ven- 
tured to come to you is that you may know the impression which he has 
made upon one who was but the other day a stranger to him. I am 
sure that he loves you." 

" I think he is light of heart." 

" Oh, no, Miss Dale." 

" And how am I to become his wife unless I love him well enough 
myself? Mrs. Arabin, I have made up my mind about it. I shall never 
become any man's wife. Mamma and I are all in all together, and we 



I THINK HE IS LIGHT OP HEART. 319 

shall remain together." As soon as these words were out of her mouth, 
she hated herself for having spoken them. There was a maudlin, 
missish, narnby-mamby sentimentality about them which disgusted her. 
She specially desired to be straightforward, resolute of purpose, honest- 
spoken, and free from all touch of affectation. And yet she had excused 
herself from marrying John Eames after the fashion of a sick school- 
girl. " It is no good talking about it any more," she said, getting up 
from her chair quickly. 

" You are not angry with me ; or at any rate you will forgive me ? " 
" I'm quite sure you have meant to be very good, and I am not 
a bit angry." 

" And you will see him before you go ? " 

" Oh, yes ; that is if he likes to come to-day, or early to-morrow. 
I go home to-morrow. I cannot refuse him, because he is such an 
old friend, almost like a brother. But it is of no use, Mrs. Arabin." 
Then Mrs. Arabin kissed her and left her, telling her that Mr. Eames 
would come to her that afternoon at half-past five. Lily promised 
that she would be at home to receive him. 

" Won't you ride with us for the last time ? " said Emily Dunstable 
when Lily gave notice that she would not want the horse on that 
afternoon. 

" No ; not to-day." 

" You'll never have another opportunity of riding with Emily 
Dunstable," said the bride elect ; " at least I hope not." 

"Even under those circumstances I must refuse, though I would 
give a guinea to be with you. John Eames is coming here to say 
good-by." 

" Oh ; then indeed you must not come with us. Lily, what will 
you say to him ? " 
"Nothing." 

"Oh, Lily, think of it." 

"I have thought of it. I have thought of nothing else. I am 
tired of thinking of it. It is not good to think of anything so much. 
What does it matter?" 

" It is very good to have some one to love one better than all the 
world besides." 

" I have some one," said Lily, thinking of her mother, but not 
caring to descend again to the mawkish weakness of talking about her. 
' * Yes ; but some one to be always with you, to do everything for 
you, to be your very own." 

" It is all very well for you," said Lily, " and I think that Bernard 



320 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSEt. 

is the luckiest fellow in the world ; but it will not do for me. I know 
in what college I'll take my degree, and I wish they'd let me write the 
letters after my name as the men do." 

" What letters, Lily ? " 

" O.M., for Old Maid. I don't see why it shouldn't be as good as 
B.A. for Bachelor of Arts. It would mean a great deal more." 



CHAPTER LXXVIL 
THE SHATTERED TREE. 

WHEN Mrs. Arabin saw Johnny in the middle of that day, she could 
hardly give him much encouragement. And yet she felt by no means 
sure that he might not succeed even yet. Lily had been very positive 
in her answers, and yet there had been something, either in her words 
or in the tone of her voice, which had made Mrs. Arabin feel that even 
Lily was not quite sure of herself. There was still room for relenting. 
Nothing, however, had been said which could justify her in bidding 
John Eames simply " to go in and win." " I think he is light of heart," 
Lily had said. Those were the words which, of all that had been 
spoken, most impressed themselves on Mrs. Arabin's memory. She 
would not repeat them to her friend, but she would graft upon them 
such advice as she had to give him. 

And this she did, telling him that she thought that perhaps Lily 
doubted his actual earnestness. "I would marry her this moment," 
said Johnny. But that was not enough, as Mrs. Arabin knew, to prove 
his earnestness. Many men, fickle as weathercocks, are ready to 
marry at the moment, are ready to marry at the moment, because 
they are fickle, and think so little about it. " But she hears, perhaps, 
of your liking other people," said Mrs. Arabin. " I don't care a straw 
for any other person," said Johnny. "I wonder whether if I was to 
shut myself up in a cage for six months, it would do any good ? " "If 
she had the keeping of the cage, perhaps it might," said Mrs. Arabin. 
She had nothing more to say to him on that subject, but to tell him 
that Miss Dale would expect him that afternoon at half-past five. " I 
told her that you would come to wish her good-by, and she promised 
to see you." 

"I wish she'd say she wouldn't see me. Then there would be 
some chance," said Johnny. 



THE SHATTERED TREE. 821 

Between him and Mrs. Arabin the parting was very affectionate. 
She told him how thankful she was for his kindness in coming to her, 
and how grateful she would ever be, and the dean also, for his 
attention to her. " Remember, Mr. Eames, that you will always be 
most welcome at the deanery of Barchester. And I do hope that before 
long you may be there with your wife." And so they parted. 

He left her at about two, and went to Mr. Toogood's office in 
Bedford Row. He found his uncle, and the two went out to lunch 
together in Holborn. Between them there was no word said about 
Lily Dale, and John was glad to have some other subject in his mind 
for half an hour. Toogood was full of his triumph about Mr. Crawley 
and of his successes in Barsetshire. He gave John a long account of 
his visit to Plumstead, and expressed his opinion that if all clergymen 
were like the archdeacon there would not be so much room for 
Dissenters. " I've seen a good many parsons in my time/' said 
Toogood ; " but I don't think I ever saw such a one as him. You 
know he is a clergyman somehow, and he never lets you forget it ; but 
that's about all. Most of 'em are never contented without choking you 
with their white cravats all the time you're with 'em. As for Crawley 
himself," Mr. Toogood continued, "he's not like anybody else that 
ever was born, saint or sinner, parson or layman. I never heard of 
such a man in all my experience. Though he knew where he got the 
cheque as well as I know it now, he wouldn't say so, because the dean 
had said it wasn't so. Somebody ought to write a book about it, 
indeed they ought." Then he told the whole story of Dan Stringer, 
and how he had found Dan out, looking at the top of Dan's hat through 
the little aperture in the wall of the inn parlour. "When I saw the 
twitch in his hat, John, I knew he had handled the cheque him- 
self. I don't mean to say that I'm sharper than another man, and I 
don't think so ; but I do mean to say that when you are in any 
difficulty of that sort, you ought to go to a lawyer. It's his business, 
and a man does what is his business with patience and perseverance. 
It's a pity, though, that that scoundrel should get off." Then Eames 
gave his uncle an account of his Italian trip, to and fro, and was con- 
gratulated also upon his success. John's great triumph lay in the fact 
that he had been only two nights in bed, and that he would not have 
so far condescended on those occasions but for the feminine weakness 
of his fellow-traveller. " We shan't forget it all in a hurry, shall we, 
John ? " said Mr. Toogood, in a pleasant voice, as they parted at the 
door of the luncheon-house in Holborn. Toogood was returning to his 
office, and John Eames was to prepare himself for his last attempt. 



322 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

He went home to his lodgings, intending at first to change his dress, 
to make himself smart for the work before him, but after standing 
for a moment or two leaning on the chest of drawers in his bed-room, 
he gave up this idea. "After all that's come and gone," he said to 
himself, "if I cannot win her as I am now, I cannot win her at all." 
And then he swore to himself a solemn oath, resolving that he would 
repeat the purport of it to Lily herself, that this should be the last 
attempt. " What's the use of it ? Everybody ridicules me. And I 
am ridiculous. I am an ass. It's all very well wanting to be prime 
minister ; but if you can't be prime minister, you must do without 
being prime minister." Then he attempted to sing the old song 
" Shall I, sighing in despair, die because a woman's fair ? If she be 
not fair for me, what care I how fair she be ? " But he did care, and 
he told himself that the song did him no good. As it was not time for 
him as yet to go to Lily, he threw himself on the sofa, and strove to 
read a book. Then all the weary nights of his journey prevailed over 
him, and he fell asleep. 

When he awoke it wanted a quarter to six. He sprang up, and 
rushing out, jumped into a cab. " Berkeley Square, as hard as you 
can go," he said. " Number ." He thought of Rosalind, and her 
counsels to lovers as to the keeping of time, and reflected that in such 
an emergency as his, he might really have ruined himself by that 
unfortunate slumber. When he got to Mrs. Thome's door he knocked 
hurriedly, and bustled up to the drawing-room as though everything 
depended on his saving a minute. "I'm afraid I'm ever so much 
behind my time," he said. 

"It does not matter in the least," said Lily. "As Mrs. Arabin 
said that perhaps you might call, I would not be out of the way. 
I supposed that Sir Raffle was keeping you and that you wouldn't 
come." 

" Sir Raffle was not keeping me. I fell asleep. That is the truth 
of it." 

" I am so sorry that you should have been disturbed ! " 

"Do not laugh at me, Lily, to-day. I had been travelling a good 
deal, and I suppose I was tired." 

" I won't laugh at you," she said, and of a sudden her eyes became 
full of tears, she did not know why. But there they were, and she 
was ashamed to put up her handkerchief, and she could not bring her- 
self to turn away her face, and she had no resource but that he should 
see them. 

" Lily ! " he said. 



THE SHATTERED TREE. 3'23 

" What a paladin you have been, John, rushing all ahout Europe 
on your friend's hehalf ! " 

"Don't talk about that." 

" And such a successful paladin too ! Why am I not to talk about 
it ? I am going home to-morrow, and I mean to talk about nothing 
else for a week. I am so very, very, very glad that you have saved 
your cousin." Then she did put up her handkerchief, making believe 
that her tears had been due to Mr. Crawley. But John Eames knew 
better than that. 

" Lily," he said, "I've come for the last time. It sounds as though 
I meant to threaten you ; but you won't take it in that way. I think 
3'ou will know what I mean. I have come for the last time to ask 
you to be my wife." She had got up to greet him when he entered, 
and they were both still standing. She did not answer him at once, 
but turning away from him walked towards the window. " You knew 
why I was coming to-day, Lily ? " 

" Mrs. Arabin told me. I could not be away when you were coming, 
but perhaps it would have been better." 

"Is it so? Must it be so? Must you say that to me, Lily? 
Think of it for a moment, dear." 

"I have thought of it." 

" One word from you, yes or no, spoken now is to be everything to 
me for always. Lily, cannot you say yes ? " She did not answer him, 
but walked further away from him to another window. " Try to say 
yes. Look round at me with one look that may only half mean it ; 
that may tell me that it shall not positively be no for ever." I think 
that she almost tried to turn her face to him ; but be that as it may, 
she kept her eyes steadily fixed upon the window-pane. "Lily," he 
said, "it is not that you are hard-hearted, perhaps not altogether 
that you do not like me. I think that you believe things against me 
that are not time." As she heard this she moved her foot angrily upon 
the carpet. She had almost forgotten M. D., but now he had reminded 
her of the note. She assured herself that she had never believed any- 
thing against him except on evidence that was incontrovertible. But 
she was not going to speak to him on such a matter as that ! It would 
not become her to accuse him. " Mrs. Arabin tells me that you doubt 
whether I am in earnest," he said. 

Upon hearing this she flashed round upon him almost angrily. " I 
never said that." 

"If you will ask me for any token of earnestness, I will give 
it you." 



324 THE LAST CHKONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I want no token." 

" The best sign of earnestness a man can give generally in such a 
matter, is to show how ready he is to be married.' ' 

" I never said anything about earnestness." 

" At the risk of making you angry I will go on, Lily. Of course 
when you tell me that you will have riothing to say to me, I try to 
amuse myself " " Yes ; by writing love-letters to M. D.," said Lily to 
herself. " What is a poor fellow to do ? I tell you fairly that when 
I leave you I swear to myself that I will make love to the first girl I 
can see who will listen to me to twenty, if twenty will let me. I feel 
I have failed, and it is so I punish myself for my failure." There was 
something in this which softened her brow, though she did not intend 
that it should be so ; and she turned away again, that he might not see 
that her brow was softened. " But, Lily, the hope ever comes back 
again, and then neither the one nor the twenty are of avail, even to 
punish me. When I look forward and see what it might be if you 
were with me, how green it all looks and how lovely, in spite of all the 
vows I have made, I cannot help coming back again." She was now 
again near the window, and he had not followed her. As she neither 
turned towards him nor answered him, he moved from the table near 
which he was standing on to the rug before the fire, and leaned with 
both his elbows on the mantelpiece. He could still watch her in the 
mirror over the fireplace, and could see that she was still seeming to 
gaze out upon the street. And had he not moved her ? I think he 
had so far moved her now, that she had ceased to think of the woman 
who had written to her, that she had ceased to reject him in her heart 
on the score of such levities as that ! If there were M. D.'s, like 
sunken rocks, in his course, whose fault was it ? He was ready enough 
.to steer his bark into the tranquil blue waters, if only she would aid 
him. I think that all his sins on that score were at this moment 
forgiven him. He had told her now what to him would be green and 
beautiful, and she did not find herself able to disbelieve him. She had 
banished M. D. out of her mind, but in doing so she admitted other 
reminiscences into it. And then, was she in a moment to be talked 
out of the resolution of years ; and was she to give up herself, not 
because she loved, but because the man who talked to her talked so 
well that he deserved a reward ? Was she now to be as light, as 
foolish, as easy, as in those former days from which she had learned her 
wisdom ? A picture of green lovely things could be delicious to her 
eyes as to his ; but even for such a picture as that the price might be 
too dear 1 Of all living men, of all men living in their present lives, 




THE LAST DENIAL. 



THE SHATTEKED TBEE. 325 

slie loved best this man who was now waiting for some word of answer 
to his words, and she did love him dearly ; she would have tended him if 
sick, have supplied him if in want, have mourned for him if dead, with 
the bitter grief of true affection ; but she could not say to herself that 
he should be her lord and master, the head of her house, the owner of 
herself, the ruler of her life. The shipwreck to which she had once 
come, and the fierce regrets which had thence arisen, had forced her to 
think too much of these things. " Lily," he said, still facing towards the 
mirror, " will you not come to me and speak to me ? " She turned round, 
and stood a moment looking at him, and then, having again resolved 
that it could not be as he wished, she drew near to him. " Certainly 
I will speak to you, John. Here I am." And she came close to him. 

He took both her hands, and looked into her eyes. " Lily, will 
you be mine ? " 

" No, dear; it cannot be so." 

' 'Why not, Lily ?" 

" Because of that other man." 

" And is that to be a bar for ever ? ' 

" Yes ; for ever." 

" Do you still love him ? " 

" No ; no, no !" 

" Then why should this be so ? " 

" I cannot tell, dear. It is so. If you take a young tree and 
split it, it still lives, perhaps. But it isn't a tree. It is only a fragment." 

" Then be my fragment." 

" So I will, if it can serve you to give standing ground to such a 
fragment in some corner of your garden. But I will not have myself 
planted out in the middle, for people to look at. What there is left 
would die soon." He still held her hands, and she did not attempt to 
draw them away. "John," she said, "next to mamma, I love you 
better than all the world. Indeed I do. I can't be your wife, but you 
need never be afraid that I shall be more to another than I am to you." 

" That will not serve me," he said, grasping both her hands till he 
almost hurt them, but not knowing that he did so. " That is no good." 

" It is all the good that I can do you. Indeed I can do you, Can 
do no one any good. The trees that the storms have splintered are 
never of use." 

" And is this to be the end of all, Lily ? " 

" Not of our loving friendship." 

" Friendship ! I hate the word. I hear some one's step, and I had 
better leave you. Good-by." 



326 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

" Grood-by, Jolin. Be kinder than that to me as you are going." 
He turned back for a moment, took her hand, and held it tight against 
his heart, and then he left her. In the hall he met Mrs. Thorne, but, 
as she said afterwards, he had been too much knocked about to be able 
to throw a word to a dog. 

To Mrs. Thorne Lily said hardly a word about John Eames, and 
when her cousin Bernard questioned her about him she was dumb. 
And in these days she could assume a manner, and express herself with 
her eyes as well as with her voice, after a fashion, which was apt to silence 
unwelcome questioners, even though they were as intimate with her as 
was her cousin Bernard. She had described her feelings more plainly to 
her lover than she had ever done to any one, even to her mother ; and 
having done so she meant to be silent on that subject for evermore. 
But of her settled purpose she did say some word to Emily Dunstable 
that night. " I do feel," she said, "that I have got the thing settled 
at last." 

" And you have settled it, as you call it, in opposition to the wishes 
of all your friends ? " 

" That is true; and yet I have settled it rightly, and I would not for 
worlds have it unsettled again. There are matters on which friends 
should not have wishes, or at any rate should not express them." 

" Is that meant to be severe to me ? " 

"No; not to you. I was thinking about mamma, and Bell, and 
my uncle, and Bernard, who all seem to think that I am to be looked 
upon as a regular castaway because I am not likely to have a husband 
of my own. Of course you, in your position, must think a girl a cast- 
away who isn't going to be married ? " 

" I think that a girl who is going to be married has the best of it." 

" And I think a girl who isn't going to be married has the best 
of it ; that's all. But I feel that the thing is done now, and I am 
contented. For the last six or eight months there has come up, 
I know not how, a state of doubt which has made me so wretched 
that I have done literally nothing. I haven't been able to finish old 
Mrs. Heard's tippet, literally because people would talk to me about 
that dearest of all dear fellows, John Eames. And yet all along I have 
known how it would be, as well as I do now." 

" I cannot understand you, Lily ; I can't indeed." 

" I can understand myself. I love him so well, with that intimate, 
close, familiar affection, that I could wash his clothes for him to- 
morrow, out of pure personal regard, and think it no shame. He 
could not ask me to do a single thing for him, except the one thing, 



THE SHATTERED TREE. 327 

that I would refuse. And I'll go further. I would sooner marry 

him than any man in the world I ever saw, or, as I believe, that I ever 
shall see. And yet I am very glad that it is settled." 

On the next day Lily Dale went down to the Small House of 
Allington, and so she passes out of our sight. I can only ask the 
reader to believe that she was in earnest, and express my own opinion, 
in this last word that I shall ever write respecting her, that she will 
live and die as Lily Dale. 



CHAPTER LXXYIH. 

THE ARABINS RETURN TO BARCHESTER. 

IN these days Mr. Harding was keeping his bed at the deanery, and 

most of those who saw him declared that he would never again leave it. 

The archdeacon had been slow to believe so, because he had still found 

his father-in-law able to talk to him ; not indeed with energy, but then 

Mr. Harding had never been energetic on ordinary matters, but with 

the same soft cordial interest in things which had ever been customary 

with him. He had latterly been much interested about Mr. Crawley, 

and would make both the archdeacon anfl. Mrs. Grantly tell him all 

that they heard, and what they thought of the case. This of course 

had been before the all-important news had been received from Mrs. 

Arabin. Mr. Harding was very anxious, "Firstly," as he said, "for 

the welfare of the poor man, of whom I cannot bring myself to think ill ; 

and then for the honour of the cloth in Barchester." " We are as 

liable to have black sheep here as elsewhere," the archdeacon replied. 

' ' But, my dear, I do not think that the sheep is black ; and we never 

have had black sheep in Barchester." " Haven't we though ? " said 

the archdeacon, thinking, however, of sheep who were black with a 

different kind of blackness from this which was now attributed to poor 

Mr. Crawley, of a blackness which was not absolute blackness to 

Mr. Harding's milder eyes. The archdeacon, when he heard his 

father-in-law talk after this fashion, expressed his opinion that he 

might live yet for years. He was just the man to linger on, living in 

bed, as indeed he had lingered all his life out of bed. But the 

doctor who attended him thought otherwise, as did also Mrs. Grantly, 

and as did Mrs. Baxter, and as also did Posy. " Grandpa won't 

get up any more, will he ? " Posy said to Mrs. Baxter. "I hope he 

will, my dear; and that very soon." "I don't think he will," said 



328 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Posy, "because he said he would never see the big fiddle .again." 
" That conies of his being a little melancholy like, my dear," said 
Mrs. Baxter. 

Mrs. Grantly at this time went into Barchester almost every day, 
and the archdeacon, who was very often in the city, never went there 
without passing half-an-hour with the old man. These two clergymen, 
essentially different in their characters and in every detail of conduct, 
had been so much thrown together by circumstances that the life of each 
had almost become a part of the life of the other. Although the fact of 
Mr. Harding's residence at the deanery had of late years thrown him 
oftener into the society of the dean than that of his other son-in-law, 
yet his intimacy with the archdeacon had been so much earlier, and his 
memories of the archdeacon were so much clearer, that he depended 
almost more upon the rector of Plumstead, who was absent, than he did 
upon the dean, whom he customarily saw every day. It was not so 
with his daughters. His Nelly, as he had used to call her, had ever been 
his favourite, and the circumstances of their joint lives had been such, 
that they had never been further separated than from one street of 
Barchester to another, and that only for the very short period of the 
married life of Mrs. Arabin's first husband. For all that was soft 
and tender therefore, which with Mr. Harding was all in the world 
that was charming to him, he looked to his youngest daughter ; but 
for authority and guidance and wisdom, and for information as to what 
was going on in the world, he had still turned to his son-in-law the 
archdeacon, as he had done for nearly forty years. For so long 
had the archdeacon been potent as a clergyman in the diocese, 
and throughout the whole duration of such potency his word had 
been law to Mr. Harding in most of the affairs of life, a law 
generally to be obeyed, and if sometimes to be broken, still a law. 
And now, when all was so nearly over, he would become unhappy if the 
archdeacon's visits were far between. Dr. Grantly, when he found that 
this was so, would not allow that they should be far between. 

"He puts me so much in mind of my father," the archdeacon said 
to his wife one day. 

" He is not so old as your father was when he died, by many years," 
said Mrs. Grantly, "and I think one sees that difference." 

" Yes ; and therefore I say that he may still live for years. My 
father, when he took to his bed at last, was manifestly near his death. 
The wonder with him was that he continued to live so long. Do you 
not remember how the London doctor was put out because his pro- 
phecies were not fulfilled ? " 



THE AEABINS RETUEN TO BAECHESTEB, 329 

" I remember it well ; as if it were yesterday." 

" And in that way there is a great difference. My father, who was 
physically a much stronger man, did not succumb so easily. But the 
likeness is in their characters. There is the same mild sweetness, 
becoming milder and sweeter as they increased in age ; a sweetness 
that never could believe much evil, but that could believe less, and still 
less, as the weakness of age came on them. No amount of evidence 
would induce your father to think that Mr. Crawley stole that money." 
This was said of course before the telegram had come from Venice. 

"As far as that goes I agree with him," said Mrs. Grantly, who had 
her own reasons for choosing to believe Mr. Crawley to be innocent. If 
your son, my dear, is to marry a man's daughter, it will be as well that 
you should at least be able to say that you do not believe that man to 
be a thief. 

"That is neither here nor there," said the archdeacon. " A jury 
must decide it." 

" No jury in Barsetshire shall decide it for me," said Mrs. Grantly. 

" I'm sick of Mr. Crawley, and I'm sorry I spoke of him," said the 
archdeacon. " But look at Mrs. Proudie. You'll agree that she was 
not the most charming woman in the world." 

"She certainly was not," said Mrs. Grantly, who was anxious to 
encourage her husband, if she could do so without admitting anything 
which might injure herself afterwards. 

"And she was at one time violently insolent to your father. And 
even the bishop thought to trample upon him. Do you remember the 
bishop's preaching against your father's chaunting ? If I ever forget 
it ! " And the archdeacon slapped his closed fist against his open hand. 

" Don't, dear ; don't. What is the good of being violent now ? " 

" Paltry little fool ! It will be long enough before such a chaunt as 
that is heard in any English cathedral again." Then Mrs. Grantly got 
up and kissed her husband, but he, somewhat negligent of the kiss, 
went on with his speech. "But your father remembers nothing of it, 
and if there was a single human being who shed a tear in Barchester for 
that woman, I believe it was your father. And it was the same with 
mine. It came to that at last, that I could not bear to speak to him 
of any shortcoming as to one of his own clergymen. I might as well 
have pricked him with a penknife. And yet they say men become 
heartless and unfeeling as they grow old ! " 

" Some do, I suppose." 

" Yes ; the heartless and unfeeling do. As the bodily strength 
fails and the power of control becomes lessened, the natural aptitude of 

II. xxx. 3 P 



330 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

the man pronounces itself more clearly. I take it that that is it. Had 
Mrs. Proudie lived to be a hundred and fifty, she would have spoken 
spiteful lies on her deathbed." Then Mrs. Grantly told herself that her 
husband, should he live to be a hundred and fifty, would still be 
expressing his horror of Mrs. Proudie, even on his deathbed. 

As soon as the letter from Mrs. Arabin had reached Plumstead, the 
archdeacon and his wife arranged that they would both go together to 
the deanery. There were the double tidings to be told, those of Mr. 
Crawley's assured innocence, and those also of Mrs. Arabin' s instant 
return. And as they went together various ideas were passing through 
their minds in reference to the marriage of their son with Grace 
Crawley. They were both now reconciled to it. Mrs. Grantly had long 
ceased to feel any opposition to it, even though she had not seen Grace ; 
and the archdeacon was prepared to give way. Had he not promised 
that in a certain case he would give way, and had not that case now 
come to pass ? He had no wish to go back from his word. But he 
had a difficulty in this, that he liked to make all the affairs of his life 
matter for enjoyment, almost for triumph ; but how was he to be 
triumphant over this marriage, or how even was he to enjoy it, seeing 
that he had opposed it so bitterly ? Those posters, though they were 
now pulled down, had been up on all barn ends and walls, patent alas, 
too patent to all the world of Barsetshire ! " What will Mr. Crawley 
do now, do you suppose ? " said Mrs. Grantly. 
, " What will he do ?" 

" Yes ; must he go on at Hogglestock ? " 

" What else ? " said the archdeacon. 

" It is a pity something could not be done for him after all he has 
undergone. How on earth can he be expected to live there with a wife 
and family, and no private means ? " To this the archdeacon made no 
answer. Mrs. Grantly had spoken almost immediately upon their 
quitting Plumstead, and the silence was continued till the carnage had 
entered the suburbs of the city. Then Mrs. Grantly spoke again, 
asking a question, with some internal trepidation, which, however, she 
managed to hide from her husband. ' When poor papa does go, what 
shall you do about St. E wold's ? " Now, St. E wold's was a rural 
parish lying about two miles out of Barchester, the living of which was 
in the gift of the archdeacon, and to which the archdeacon had presented 
his father-in-law, under certain circumstances, which need not bo 
repeated in this last chronicle of Barsetslure. Have they not been 
written in other chronicles ? " When poor papa does go, what will you 
do about St. E wold's ? " said Mrs. Grantly, trembling inwardly. A 



THE AEABINS RETURN TO BAECHESTEE. 331 

word too much might, as she well knew, settle the question against 
Mr. Crawley for ever. But were she to postpone the word till too late, 
the question would be settled as fatally. 

" I haven't thought about it," he said sharply. " I don't like 
thinking of such things while the incumbent is still living." Oh, arch- 
deacon, archdeacon ! unless that other chronicle be a false chronicle, 
how hast thou forgotten thyself and thy past life ! ' ' Particularly not, 
when that incumbent is your father," said the archdeacon. Mrs. 
Grantly said nothing more about St. Ewold's. She would have said as 
much as she had intended to say if she had succeeded in making the 
archdeacon understand that St. Ewold's would be a very nice refuge for 
Mr. Crawley after all the miseries which he had endured at Hoggle- 
stock. 

They learned as they entered the deanery that Mrs. Baxter had 
already heard of -Mrs. Arabin's return. " yes, ma'am. Mr. Harding 
got a letter hisself, and I got another, separate ; both from Venice, 
ma'am. But when master is to come, nobody seems to know." Mrs. 
Baxter knew that the dean had gone to Jerusalem, and was inclined to 
think that from such distant bournes there was no return for any 
traveller. The east is always further than the west in the estimation 
of the Mrs. Baxters of the world. Had the dean gone to Canada, she 
would have thought that he might come back to-morrow. But still 
there was the news to be told of Mr. Crawley, and there was also joy 
to be expressed at the sudden coming back of the much-wished-for 
mistress of the deanery. 

" It's so good of you to come both together," said Mr. Harding. 

" We thought we should be too many for you," said the archdeacon. 

" Too many ! dear, no. I like to have people by me ; and as 
for voices, and noise, and all that, the more the better. But I am 
weak. I'm weak in my legs. I don't think I shall ever stand again." 

11 Yes, you will," said the archdeacon. 

" "We have brought you good news," said Mrs. Grantly. 

"Is it not good news that Nelly will be home this week ? You can't 
understand what a joy it is to me. I used to think sometimes, at 
night, that I should never see her again. That she would come back 
in time was all I have had to wish for." He was lying on his back, 
and as he spoke he pressed his withered hands together above the bed- 
clothes. They could not begin immediately to tell him of Mir. Crawley, 
but as soon as his mind had turned itself away from the thoughts of 
his absent daughter, Mrs. Grantly again reverted to her news. 

" We have come to tell you about Mr. Crawley, papa." 



882 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BAESET. 

" What about him ? " 

" He is quite innocent." 

" I knew it, my dear. I always said so. Did I not always say so, 
archdeacon ? " 

" Indeed you did. I'll give you that credit." 

" And is it all found out ? " asked Mr. Harding. 

"As far as he is concerned, everything is found out," said Mrs. 
Grantly. " Eleanor gave him the cheque herself." 

" Nelly gave it to him *? " 

" Yes, papa. The dean meant her to give him fifty pounds. But 
it seems she got to be soft of heart and made it seventy. She had the 
cheque by her, and put it into the envelope with the notes." 

" Some of Stringer's people seem to have stolen the cheque from 
Mr. Soames," said the archdeacon. 

" dear ; I hope not." 

" Somebody must have stolen it, papa." 

"I had hoped not, Susan," said Mr. Harding. Both the arch- 
deacon and Mrs. Grantly knew that it was useless to argue with him 
on such a point, and so they let that go. 

Then they came to discuss Mr. Crawley's present position, and 
Mr. Harding ventured to ask a question or two as to Grace's chance 
of marriage. He did not often interfere in the family arrangements 
of his son-in-law, and never did so when those family arrangements 
were concerned with high matters. He had hardly opened his mouth 
in reference to the marriage of that august lady who was now the 
Marchioness of Hartletop. And of the Lady Anne, the wife of the Rev. 
Charles Grantly, who was always prodigiously civil to him, speaking to 
him very loud, as though he were deaf because he was old, and bringing 
him cheap presents from London of which he did not take much 
heed, of her he rarely said a word, or of her children, to either of his 
daughters. But now his grandson, Henry Grantly, was going to many 
a girl of whom he felt that he might speak without impropriety. "I 
suppose it will be a match ; won't it, my dears ? " 

"Not a doubt about it," said Mrs. Grantly. Mr. Harding looked 
at his son-in-law, but his son-in-law said nothing. The archdeacon 
did not even frown, but only moved himself a little uneasily in his 
chair. 

" Dear, dear ! What a comfort that must be," said the old man. 

"I have not seen her yet," said Mrs. Grantly; "but the arch- 
deacon declares that she is all the graces rolled into one." 

"I never said anything half so absurd," replied the archdeacon. 



THE AEABINS EETUEN TO BAECHESTEE. 333 

"But he really is quite in love with her, papa," said Mrs. Grantly. 
" He confessed to me that he gave her a kiss, and' he only saw her 
once for five minutes." 

" I should like to give her a kiss," said Mr. Harding. 

" So you shall, papa, and I'll bring her here on purpose. 
As soon as ever the thing is settled, we mean to ask her to 
Plumstead." 

" Do you though ? How nice ! How happy Henry will he ! " 

" And if she comes and of course she will I'll lose no time in 
bringing her over to you. Nelly must see her of course." 

As they were leaving the room Mr. Harding called the archdeacon 
back, and taking him by the hand, -spoke one word to him in a whisper. 
" I don't like to interfere," he said ; " but might not "Mr. Crawley have 
St. Ewold's ? " The archdeacon took up the old man's hand and kissed 
it. Then he followed his wife out of the room, without making any 
answer to Mr. Harding's question. 

Three days after this Mrs. Arabin reached the deanery, and the joy 
at her return was very great. " My dear, I have been sick for you," 
said Mr. Harding. 

" Oh, papa, I ought not to have gone." 

" Nay, my dear; do not say that. "Would it' make me happy that 
you should be a prisoner here for ever ? It was only when I seemed 
to get so weak that I thought about it. I felt that it must be near 
when they bade me not to go to the cathedral any more." 

" If I had been here, I could have gone with you, papa." 

" It is better as it is. I know now that I was not fit for it. When 
your sister came to me, I never thought of remonstrating. I knew then 
that I had seen it for the last time." 

" We need not say that yet, papa." 

1 ' I did think that when you came home we might crawl there 
together some warm morning. I did think of that for a time. But it 
will never be so, dear. I shall never see anything now that I do not 
see from here, and not that for long. Do not cry, Nelly. I have 
nothing to regret, nothing to make me unhappy. I know how poor and 
weak has been my life ; but I know how rich and strong is that other 
life. Do not cry, Nelly, not till I am gone ; and then not beyond 
measure. Why should any one weep for those who go away full of 
years, and full of hope ? " 

On the day but one following the dean also reached his home. The 
final arrangements of his tour, as well as those of his wife, had been 
made to depend on Mr. Crawley' s trial ; for he also had been hurried 



334 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

back by John Eames's visit to Florence. "I should have coine at 
once," he said to his wife, "when they wrote to ask me whether 
Crawley had taken the cheque from me, had anybody then told me that 
he was in actual trouble ; but I had no idea then that they were 
charging him with theft." 

" As far as I can learn, they never really suspected him until after 
your answer had come. They had been quite sure that your answer 
would be in the affirmative." 

" What he must have endured it is impossible to conceive. I shall 
go out to him to-morrow." 

" Would he not come to us ? " said Mrs. Arabin. 

" I doubt it. I will ask him, of course. I will ask them all here. 
This about Henry and the girl may make a difference. He has resigned 
the living, and some of the palace people are doing the duty." 

" But he can have it again ?" 

" Oh, yes ; he can have it again. For the matter of that, I need 
simply give him back his letter. Only he is so odd, so unlike other 
people ! And he has tried to live there, and has failed ; and is nov/ 
in debt. I wonder whether Grantly would give him St. E wold's ? " 

" I wish he would. But you must ask him. I should not dare." 

As to the matter of the cheque, the dean acknowledged to his wife 
at last that he had some recollection of her having told him that she 
had made the sum of money up to seventy pounds. " I don't feel 
certain of it now; but I think you may have done so." "I am quite 
sure I could not have done it without telling you," she replied. " At 
any rate you said nothing of the cheque," pleaded the dean. " I don't 
suppose I did," said Mrs. Arabin. " I thought that cheques were like 
any other money ; but I shall know better for the future." 

On the following morning the dean rode over to Hogglestock, and as 
he drew near to the house of his old friend, his spirits flagged, for to 
tell the truth, he dreaded the meeting. Since the day on which he had 
brought Mr. Crawley from a curacy in Cornwall into the diocese of 
Barchester, his friend had been a trouble to him rather than a joy. 
The trouble had been a trouble of spirit altogether, not at all of 
pocket. He would willingly have picked the Crawleys out from 
the pecuniary mud into which they were ever falling, time after time, 
had it been possible. For, though the dean was hardly to be called 
a rich man, his lines had fallen to him not only in pleasant places, 
but in easy circumstances ; and Mr. Crawley's embarrassments, though 
overwhelming to him, were not so great as to have been heavy to the dean. 
But in striving to do this he had always failed, had always suffered, and 



THE ARABINS RETURN TO BAECHESTEK. 335 

had generally been rebuked. Crawley would attempt to argue with him 
as to the improper allotment of Church endowments, declaring that he 
did not do so with any reference to his own circumstances, but simply 
because the subject was one naturally interesting to clergymen. And 
this he would do, as he was waving off with his hand offers of immediate 
assistance which were indispensable. Then there had been scenes 
between the dean and Mrs. Crawley, terribly painful, and which had 
taken place in direct disobedience to the husband's positive injunctions. 
"Sir," he had once said to the dean, "I request that nothing may 
pass from your hands to the hands of my wife." " Tush, tush," the 
dean had answered. " I will have no tushing or pshawing on such a 
matter. A man's wife is his very own, the breath of his nostril, the 
blood of his heart, the rib from his body. It is for me to rule my wife, 
and I tell you that I will not have it." After that the gifts had come 
from the hands of Mrs. Arabin ; and then again, after that, in the 
direst hour of his need, Crawley had himself come and taken money 
from the dean's hands ! The interview had been so painful that Arabin 
would hardly have been able to count the money or to know of what it 
had consisted, had he taken the notes and cheque out of the envelope 
in which his wife had put them. Since that day the two had not met 
each other, and since that day these new troubles had come. Arabin as 
yet knew but little of the manner in which they had been borne, except 
that Crawley had felt himself compelled to resign the living of Hoggle- 
stock. He knew nothing of Mrs. Proudie's persecution, except what he 
gathered from the fact of the clerical commission of which he had been 
informed; but he could imagine that Mrs. Proudie would not lie easy on 
her bed while a clergyman was doing duty almost under her nose, who 
was guilty of the double offence of being accused of a theft, and of 
having been put into his living by the dean. The dean, therefore, as he 
rode on, pictured to himself his old friend in a terrible condition. And 
it might be that even now that condition would hardly have been 
improved. He was no longer suspected of being a thief; but he could 
have no money in his pocket ; and it might well be that his sufferings 
would have made him almost mad. 

The dean also got down and left his horse at a farm-yard, as 
Grantly had done with his carriage ; and walked on first to the school. 
He heard voices inside, but could not distinguish from them whether 
Mr. Crawley was there or not. Slowly he opened the door, and looking 
round saw that Jane Crawley was in the ascendant. Jane did not 
know him at once, but told him when he had introduced himself that 
her father had gone down to Hoggle End. He had started two hours ago, 



336 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BABSET. 

but it was impossible to say when be might be back. " He sometimes 
stays all day long with the brickmakers," said Jane. Her mother was at 
home, and she would take the dean into the house. As she said this 
she told him that her father was sometimes better and sometimes worse. 
"But he has never been so veiy, very bad, since Henry Grantly and 
mamma's cousin came and told us about the cheque." That word Henry 
Grantly made the dean understand that there might yet be a ray of 
sunshine among the Crawleys. 

" There is papa," said Jane, as they got to the gate. Then they 
waited for a few minutes till Mr. Crawley came up, very hot, wiping the 
sweat from his forehead. 

" Crawley," said the dean, " I cannot tell you how glad I am to 
see you, and how rejoiced I am that this accusation has fallen off 
from you." 

" Verily the news came in time, Arabin," said the other ; " but it 
was a narrow pinch a narrow pinch. Will you not enter, and see 
mv wife ? " 



CHAPTER LXXIX. 



MR. CRAWLS Y SPEAKS OF HIS COAT. 

T this time Grace had. returned 
home from Framley. As long 
as the terrible tragedy of the 
forthcoming trial was dragging 
itself on she had been content 
to stay away, at her mother's 
bidding. It has not been 
possible in these pages to tell 
of all the advice that had been 
given to the ladies of the 
Crawley family in their great 
difficulty, and of all the assist- 
ance that had been offered. 
The elder Lady Lufton and the 
younger, and Mrs. Robarts had 
continually been in consultation 
on the subject ; Mrs. Grantly's 
opinion had been asked and 
given ; and even the Miss Prettymans and Mrs. Walker had found means 
of expressing themselves. The communications to Mrs. Crawley had 
been veiy frequent, though they had not of course 'been allowed to 
reach the ears of Mr. Crawley. What was to be done when the living 
should be gone and Mr. Crawley should be in prison ? Some said that 
he might be there for six weeks, and some for two years. Old Lady 
Lufton made anxious inquiries about Judge Medlicote, before whom it 
was said that the trial would be taken. Judge Medlicote was a Dissenter, 
and old Lady Lufton was in despair. When she was assured by .some 
liberally-disposed friend that this would certainly make no difference, 
she shook her head woefully. " I don't know why we are to have 
Dissenters at all," she said, " to try people who belong to the Established 
Church." When she heard that Judge Medlicote would certainly be 
the judge, she made up her mind that two years would be the least of 
it. She would not have minded it, she said, if he had been a Roman 
Catholic. And whether the punishment might be for six weeks or for 

II. XXXI. 3 Q 




338 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BAKSET. 

two years, what should be done with the family ? Where should they 
be housed ? how should they be fed ? "What should be done with the 
poor man when he came out of prison ? It was a case in which the 
generous, soft-hearted old Lady Lufton was almost beside herself. 
"As for Grace," said young Lady Lufton, "it will be a great deal 
better that we should keep her amongst us. Of course she will become 
Mrs. Grantly, and it will be nicer for Jier that it should be so." In 
those days the posters had been seen, and the flitting to Pau had been 
talked of, and the Frarnley opinion was that Grace had better remain at 
Framley till she should be carried off to Pau. There were schemes, 
too, about Jane. But what was to be done for the wife ? And what was 
to be done for Mr. Crawley ? Then came the news from Mrs. Arabin, 
and all interest in Judge Medlicote was at an end. 

But even now, after this great escape, what was to be done ? As 
to Grace, she had felt the absolute necessity of being obedient to her 
friends, with the consent of course of her mother, during the great 
tribulation of her family. Things were so bad that she had not the 
heart to make them worse by giving any unnecessary trouble as to 
herself. Having resolved, and having made her mother so under- 
stand, that on one point she would guide herself by her own feelings, 
she was contented to go hither and thither as she was told, and to do 
as she was bid. Her hope was that Miss Prettyman would allow her 
to go back to her teaching, but it had come to be understood among 
them all that nothing was to be said on that subject till the trial should 
be over. Till that time she would be passive. But then, as I have 
said, had come the news from Mrs. Arabin, and Grace, with all the 
others, understood that there would be no trial. When this was known 
and acknowledged, she declared her purpose of going back to Hoggle- 
stock. She would go back at once. When asked both by Lady Lufton 
and by Mrs. Kobarts why she was in so great a haste, she merely said 
that it must be so. She was, as it were, absolved from her passive 
obedience to Framley authorities by the diminution of the family 
misfortunes. 

Mrs. Bobarts understood the feeling by which Grace was hurried 
away. " Do you know why she is so obstinate ? " Lady Lufton asked. 

" I think I do," said Mrs. Bobarts. 

"And what is it?" 

" Should Major Grantly renew his offer to her she is under a pledge 
to accept him now." 

" Of course he will renew it, and of course she will accept him." 

" Just so. But she prefers that he should come for her to her own 






MR. CRAWLEY SPEAKS OP HIS COAT. 389 

house, because of its poverty. If he chooses to seek her there, I don't 
think she will make much difficulty." Lady Lufton demurred to this, 
not however with anger, and expressed a certain amount of mild dis- 
pleasure. She did not quite see why Major Grantly should not be 
allowed to come and do his love-making comfortably, where there was 
a decent dinner for him to eat, and chairs and tables and sofas and 
carpets. She said that she thought that something was due to Major 
Grantly. She was in truth a little disappointed that she was not 
allowed to have her own way, and to arrange the marriage at Framley 
under her own eye. But, through it all, she appreciated Grace ; and 
they who knew her well and heard what she said upon the occasion, 
understood that her favour was not to be withdrawn. All young women 
were divided by old Lady Lufton into sheep and goats, very white sheep 
and very black goats ; and Grace was to be a sheep. Thus it came 
to pass that Grace Crawley was at home when the dean visited Hoggle- 
stock. "Mamma," she said, looking out of the window, " there is the 
dean with papa at the gate." 

"It was a narrow squeak a very narrow squeak," Mr. Crawley 
had said when his friend congratulated him on his escape. The dean 
felt at the moment that not for many years had he heard the incumbent 
of Hogglestock speak either of himself or of anything else with so 
manifest an attempt at jocularity. Arabin had expected to find the 
man broken down by the weight of his sorrows, and lo ! at the first 
moment of their first interview he himself began to ridicule them ! 
Crawley having thus alluded to the narrow squeak had asked his visitor 
to enter the house and see his wife. 

" Of course I will," said Arabin, " but I will speak just a word to 
you first." Jane, who had accompanied the dean from the school, now 
left them, and went into the house to her mother. ' ' My wife cannot 
forgive herself about the cheque," continued he. 

" There is nothing to be forgiven," said Mr. Crawley ; " nothing." 

" She feels that what she did was awkward and foolish. She ought 
never to have paid a cheque away in such a manner. She knows 
that now." 

"It was given, not paid," said Crawley; and as he spoke some- 
thing of the black cloud came back upon his face. " And I am well 
aware how hard Mrs. Arabin strove to take away from the alms she 
bestowed the bitterness of the sting of eleemosynary aid. If you please, 
Arabin, we will not talk any more of that. I can never forget that I 
have been a beggar, but I need not make my beggary the matter of 
conversation. I hope the Holy Land has fulfilled your expectation ? " 

3 Q 2 



340 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"It has more than done so," said the dean, bewildered by the 
sudden change. 

"For myself, it is, of course, impossible that I should ever visit 
any scenes except those to which my immediate work may call me, 
never in this world. The new Jerusalem is still within my reach, if 
it be not forfeited by pride and obstinacy ; but the old Jerusalem I can 
never behold. Methinks, because it is so, I would sooner stand with 
my foot on Mount Olivet, or drink a cup of water in the village of 
Bethany, than visit any other spot within the traveller's compass. The 
sources of the Nile, of which men now talk so much, I see it in the 
papers and reviews which the ladies at Framley are so good as to send 
to my wife, do not interest me much. I have no ambition to climb 
Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn ; Home makes my mouth water but 
little, nor even Athens much. I can realize without seeing all that 
Athens could show me, and can fancy that the existing truth would 
destroy more than it would build up. But to have stood on 
Calvary ! ' ' 

" We don't know where Calvary was," said the dean. 

"I fancy that I should know, should know enough," said the 
illogical and unreasonable Mr. Crawley. " Is it true that you can look 
over from the spot on which He stood as He came across the brow 
of the hill, and see the huge stones of the Temple placed there by 
Solomon's men, as He saw them ; right across the brook Cedron, is 
it not?" 

" It is all there, Crawley, just as your knowledge of it tells you." 

" In the privilege of seeing those places I can almost envy a man 
his money." The last word he uttered after a pause. He had been 
about to say that under such temptation he could almost envy a man 
his promotion ; but he bethought himself that on such an occasion as 
this it would be better that he should spare the dean. "And now, if 
you wish it, we will go in. I fancy that I see my wife at the window, 
as though she were waiting for us." So saying, he strode on along the 
little path, and the dean was fain to follow him, even though he had 
said so little of all that he had intended to say. 

As soon as he was with Mrs. Crawley he repeated his apology about 
ihe cheque, and found himself better able to explain himself than he 
could do when alone with her husband. " Of course, it has been our 
fault," he said. 

"Oh, no," said Mrs. Crawley, "how can you have been in fault 
when your only object was to do us good?" But, nevertheless, the 
dean took the blame upon his own shoulders, or, rather upon those 



Mil. CilAWLEY bPEAKS OF HIS COAT. 341 

of his wife, and declared himself to be responsible for all the trouble 
about the cheque. 

" Let it go," said Crawley, after sitting for awhile in silence ; "let 
it pass." 

"You cannot wonder, Crawley," said the dean, "that I should 
have felt myself obliged to speak of it." 

"For the future it will be well that it should be forgotten," said 
Crawley ; " or, if not forgotten, treated as though forgotten. And now, 
dean, what must I do about the living ? " 

" Just resume it, as though nothing had happened." 

" But that may hardly be done without the bishop's authority. I 
speak, of course, with deference to your higher and better information 
on such subjects. My experience in the taking up and laying down of 
livings has not been extended. But it seemeth to me that though it 
may certainly be in your power to nominate me again to the perpetual 
curacy of this parish, presuming your patronage to be unlimited and 
not to reach you in rotation only, yet the bishop may demand to 
institute again, and must so demand, unless he pleases to permit that 
my letter to him shall be revoked and cancelled." 

" Of course he will do anything of that kind. He must know the 
circumstances as well as you and I do." 

"At present they tell me that he is much afflicted by the death 
of his wife, and, therefore, can hardly be expected to take immediate 
action. There came here on the last Sunday one Mr. Snapper, his 
lordship's chaplain." 

"We all know Snapper," said the dean. " Snapper is not a bad 
little fellow." 

" I say nothing of his being bad, my friend, but merely mention the 
fact that on Sunday morning last he performed the service in our church. 
On the Sunday previous, one Mr. Thumble was here." 

"We all know Thumble, too," said the dean; "or, at least, know 
something about him." 

" He has been a thorn in our sides," said Mrs. Crawley, unable to 
restrain the expression of her dislike when Mr. Thumble's name was 
mentioned. 

"Nay, my dear, nay; do not allow yourself the use of language 
so strong against a brother. Our flesh at that time was somewhat prone 
to fester, and little thorns made us very sore." 

"He is a horrible man," said Jane, almost in a whisper ; but the 
words were distinctly audible by the dean. 

" They need not come any more," said Arabin. 



342 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"That is where I fear we differ. I think they must come, or 
some others in their place, till the bishop shall have expressed his 
pleasure to the contrary. I have submitted myself to his lordship, and, 
having done so, feel that I cannot again go up into my pulpit till he 
shall have authorized me to do so. For a time, Arabin, I combated 
the bishop, believing, then and now, that he put forth his hand 
against me after a fashion which the law had not sanctioned. And I 
made bold to stand in his presence and to tell him that I would not 
obey him, except in things legal. But afterwards, when he proceeded 
formally, through the action of a commission, I submitted myself. 
And I regard myself still as being under submission." 

It was impossible to shake him. Arabin remained there for more 
than an hour, trying to pass on to another subject, but being constantly 
brought back by Mr. Crawley himself to the fact of his own dependent 
position. Nor would he condescend to supplicate the bishop. It was, 
he surmised, the duty of Dr. Tempest, together with the other four 
clergymen, to report to the bishop on the question of the alleged theft ; 
and then doubtless the bishop, when he had duly considered the report, 
and, as Mr. Crawley seemed to think was essentially necessary, had 
sufficiently recovered from the grief at his wife's death, would, at his 
leisure, communicate his decision to Mr. Crawley. Nothing could be 
more complete than Mr. Crawley 's humility in reference to the bishop ; 
and he never seemed to be tired of declaring that he had submitted 
himself ! 

And then the dean, finding it to be vain to expect to be left alone 
with Mr. Crawley for a moment, in vain also to wait for a proper 
opening for that which he had to say, rushed violently at his other 
subject. " And now, Mrs. Crawley," he said, " Mrs. Arabin wishes 
you all to come over to the deanery for a while and stay with us." 

"Mrs. Arabin is too kind," said Mrs. Crawley, looking across at 
her husband. 

" We should like it of all things," said the dean, with perhaps 
more of good nature than of truth. " Of course you must have been 
knocked about a good deal." 

" Indeed we have," said Mrs. Crawley. 

" And till you are somewhat settled again, I think that the change 
of scene would be good for all of you. Come, Crawley, I'll talk to you 
every evening about Jerusalem for as long as you please ; and then 
there will perhaps come back to us something of the pleasantness of 
old days." As she heard this Mrs. Crawley's eyes became fall of tears, 
and she could not altogether hide them. What she had endured 



MB. CEAWLEY SPEAKS OP HIS COAT. 343 

during the last four months had almost broken her spirit. The burden 
had at last been too heavy for her strength. " You cannot fancy, 
Crawley, how often I have thought of the old days and wished that they 
might return. I have found it very hard to get an opportunity of 
saying so much to you ; but I will say it now." 

" It may hardly be as you say," said Crawley, grimly. 

" You mean that the old days can never be brought back ? " 

" Assuredly they cannot. But it was not that that I meant. It 
may not be .that I and mine should transfer ourselves to your roof 
and sojourn there." 

" Why should you not ? " 

" The reasons are many, and on the face of things. The reason, 
perhaps, the most on the face is to be found in my wife's gown, and 
in my coat." This Mr. Crawley said very gravely, looking neither to 
the right nor to the left, nor at the face of any of them, nor at his own 
garment, nor at hers, but straight before him ; and when he had so 
spoken he said not a word further, not going on to dilate on his 
poverty as the dean expected that he would do. 

"At such a time such reasons should stand for nothing," said the 
dean. 

" And why not now as they always do, and always must till the 
power of tailors shall have waned, and the daughters of Eve shall toil 
and spin no more ? Like to like is true, and should be held to be 
true, of all societies and of all compacts for co-operation and mutual 
living. Here, where, if I may venture to say so, you and I are like to 
like ; for the new gloss of your coat," the dean, as it happened, had 
on at the moment a very old coat, his oldest coat, selected perhaps 
with some view to this special visit, " does not obtrude itself in my 
household, as would the threadbare texture of mine in yours ; I can 
open my mouth to you and converse with you at my ease ; you are now 
to me that Frank Arabin who has so often comforted me and so often 
confuted me ; whom I may perhaps on an occasion have confuted and 
perhaps have comforted. But were I sitting with you in your library 
in Barchester, my threadbare coat would be too much for me. I should 
be silent, if not sullen. I should feel the weight of all my poverty, and 
the greater weight of all your wealth. For my children, let them go. 
I have come to know that they will be better away from me." 

"Papa ! " said Jane. 

"Papa does not mean it," said Grace, coming up to him and 
standing close to him. 

There was silence amongst them for a few moments, and then the 



344 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

master of the house shook himself, literally shook himself, till he had 
shaken off the cloud. He had taken Grace by the hand, and thrusting 
out the other arm had got it round Jane's waist. " When a man has 
girls, Arabin," he said, " as you have, but not big girls yet like Grace 
here, of course he knows that they will fly away." 

"I shall not fly away," said Jane. 

" I don't know what papa means," said Grace. , 

Upon the whole the dean thought it the pleasantest visit he had 
ever made to Hogglestock, and when he got home he told his wife that 
he believed that the accusation made against Mr. Crawley had done 
him good. " I could not say a word in private to her," he said, " but 
I did promise that you would go and see her." On the very next day 
Mrs. Arabin went over, and I think that the visit was a comfort to 
Mrs. Crawley. 



CHAPTER LXXX. 
MISS DEADLINES DESIRES TO BECOME A FINGER-POST. 

JOHN EAMES had passed Mrs. Thorne in the hall of her own house 
almost without noticing her as he took his departure from Lily Dale. 
She had told him as plainly as words could speak that she could not 
bring herself to be his wife, and he had believed her. He had sworn 
to himself that if he did not succeed now he would never ask her again. 
" It would be foolish and unmanly to do so," he said to himself as he 
rushed along the street towards his club. No ! That romance was 
over. At last there had come an end to it ! "It has taken a good bit 
out of me," he said, arresting his steps suddenly that he might stand 
.still and think of it all. ' ' By George, yes ! A man doesn't go through 
that kind of thing without losing some of the caloric. I couldn't do it 
again if an angel came in my way." He went to his club, and tried to 
be jolly. He ordered a good dinner, and got some man to come and 
dine with him. For an hour or so he held himself up, and did appear 
to be jolly. But as he walked home at night, and gave himself time to 
think over what had taken place with deliberation, he stopped in the 
gloom of a deserted street and leaning against the rails burst into tears. 
He had really loved her and she was never to be his. He had wanted 
her, and it is so painful a thing to miss what you want when you have 
done your very best to obtain it ! To struggle in vain always hurts the 
pride ; but the wound made by the vain struggle for a woman is sorer 
than any other wound so made. He gnashed his teeth, and struck the 



MISS DEMOLINES DESIRES TO BECOME A FINGER-POST. 345 

iron railings with his stick ; and then he hurried home, swearing that 
he would never give another thought to Lily Dale. In the dead of the 
night, thinking of it still, he asked himself whether it would not be a 
fine thing to wait another ten years, and then go to her again. In such 
a way would he not make himself immortal as a lover beyond any 
Jacob or any Leander ? 

The next day he went to his office and was very grave. When Sir 
Raffle complimented him on being back before his time, he simply said 
that when he had accomplished that for which he had gone, he had, of 
course, come back. Sir Raffle could not get a word out from him about 
Mr. Crawley. He was very grave, and intent upon his work. Indeed 
he was so serious that he quite afflicted Sir Raffle, whose mock activity 
felt itself to be confounded by the official zeal of his private secretary. 
During the whole of that day Johnny was resolving that there could be 
no cure for his malady but hard work. He would not only work hard 
at the office if he remained there, but he would take to heavy reading. 
He rather thought that he would go deep into Greek and do a transla- 
tion, or take up the exact sciences and make a name for himself that 
way. But as he had enough for the life of a secluded literary man 
without his salary, he rather thought that he would give up his office 
altogether. He had a mutton chop at home that evening, and spent his 
time in endeavouring to read out loud to himself certain passages 
from the Iliad ; for he had bought a Homer as he returned from his 
office. At nine o'clock he went, half-price, to the Strand Theatre. 
How he met there his old friend Boulger and went afterwards to " The 
Cock " and had a supper need not here be told with more accurate 
detail. 

On the evening of the next day he was bound by his appointment to 
go to Porchester Terrace. In the moments of his enthusiasm about 
Homer he had declared to himself that he would never go near Miss 
Demolines again. Why should he ? All that kind of thing was nothing 
to him now. He would simply send her his compliments and say that 
he was prevented by business from keeping his engagement. She, of 
course, would go on writing to him for a time, but he would simply 
leave her letters unanswered, and the thing, of course, would come to 
an end at last. He afterwards said something to Boulger about Miss 
Demolines, but that was during the jollity of their supper, and he 
then declared that he would follow out that little game. " I don't see 
why a fellow isn't to amuse himself, eh, Boulger, old boy ? " Boulger 
winked and grinned, and said that some amusements were dangerous. 
" I don't think that there is any danger there," said Johnny. t( I don't 



346 THE LAST CHRONICLE OE BAESET. 

believe she is thinking of that kind of thing herself; not with me at 
least. What she likes is the pretence of a mystery ; and as it is 
amusing I don't see why a fellow shouldn't indulge her." But that 
determination was pronounced after two mutton chops at " The Cock," 
between one and two o'clock in the morning. On the next day he was 
cooler and wiser. Greek he thought might be tedious as he discovered 
that he would have to begin again from the very alphabet. He would 
therefore abandon that idea. Greek was not the thing for him, but he 
would take up the sanitary condition of the poor in London. A fellow 
could be of some use in that way, In the meantime he would keep his 
appointment with Miss Demolines, simply because it was an appoint- 
ment. A gentleman should always keep his word to a lady ! 

He did keep his appointment with Miss Demolines, and was with 
her almost precisely at the hour she had named. She received him with 
a mysterious tranquillity which almost perplexed him. He remembered, 
however, that the way to enjoy the society of Miss Demolines was to 
take her in all her moods with perfect seriousness, and was therefore very 
tranquil himself. On the present occasion she did not rise as he 
entered the room, and hardly spoke as she tendered to him the tips of 
her fingers to be touched. As she said almost nothing, he said 
nothing at all, but sank into a chair and stretched his legs out 
comfortably before him. It had been always understood between them 
that she was to bear the burden of the conversation. 

" You'll have a cup of tea ? " she said. 

"Yes; if you do." Then the page brought the tea, and John 
Eames amused himself with swallowing three slices of very thin bread 
and butter. 

"None for me, thanks," said Madalma. "I rarely eat after 
dinner, and not often much then. I fancy that I should best like a 
world in which there was no eating." 

" A good dinner is a very good thing," said John. And then there 
was again silence. He was aware that some great secret was to be 
told to him during this evening, but he was much too discreet to show 
any curiosity upon that subject. He sipped his tea to the end, and 
then, having got up to put his cup down, stood on the rug with his 
back to the fire. " Have you been out to-day ? " he asked. 

" Indeed! have." 

" And you are tired ? " 

"Very tired!" 

" Then perhaps I had better not keep you up." 

" Your remaining will make no difference in that respect. I don't 



MISS DEMOLINES DESIRES TO BECOME A FINGER-POST. 347 

suppose that I shall be in bed for the next four hours. But do as you 
like about going." 

"I am in no hurry," said Johnny. Then he sat down again, 
stretched out his legs and made himself comfortable. 

" I have been to see that woman," said Madalina after a pause. 

" What woman ? " 

"Maria Clutterbuck, as I must always call her; for I cannot 
bring myself to pronounce the name of that poor wretch who was done 
to death." 

" He blew his brains out in delirium tremens," said Johnny. 

"And what made him drink?" said Madalina with emphasis. 
"Never mind. I decline altogether to speak of it. Such a scene as I 
have had ! I was driven at last to tell her what I thought of her. 
Anything so callous, so heartless, so selfish, so stone-cold, and so 
childish, I never saw before ! That Maria was childish and selfish I 
always knew ; but I thought there was some heart, a vestige of heart. 
I found to-day that there was none, none. If you please we won't 
speak of her any more." 

" Certainly not," said Johnny. 

"You need not wonder that I am tired and feverish." 

" That sort of thing is fatiguing, I dare say. I don't know whether 
we do not lose more than we gain by those strong emotions." 

"I would rather die and go beneath the sod at once, than live 
without them," said Madalina. 

"It's a matter of taste," said Johnny. 

" It is there that that poor wretch is so deficient. She is thinking 
now, this moment, of nothing but her creature comforts. That tragedy 
has not even stirred her pulses." 

"If her pulses were stirred ever so, that would not make her 
happy." 

" Happy ! Who is happy ? Are you happy ? " 

Johnny thought of Lily Dale and paused before he answered. No ; 
certainly he was not happy. But he was not going to talk about his 
unhappiness to Miss Demolines ! "Of course I am; as jolly as a 
sandboy," he said. 

"Mr. Eames," said Madalina raising herself on her sofa, "if you 
can not express yourself in language more suitable to the occasion and 
to the scene than that, I think that you had better " 

" Hold my tongue." 

" Just so ; though I should not have chosen myself to use words 
so abruptly discourteous." 



348 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" What did I say ; jolly as a sandboy ? There is nothing wrong 
in that. What I meant was, that I think that this world is a very good 
sort of world, and that a man can get along in it very well, if he minds 
his ps and <?s." 

"But suppose it's a woman ? " 

" Easier still." 

" And suppose she does not mind her^s and (/s ? " 

" Women always do." 

"Do they? Your knowledge of women goes as far as that, does 
it ? Tell me fairly ; do you think you know anything about women ? " 
Madalina as she asked the question, looked full into his face, and shook 
her locks and smiled. When she shook her locks and smiled, there 
was a certain attraction about her of which John Earnes was fully 
sensible. She could throw a special brightness into her eyes, which, 
though it probably betokened nothing truly beyond ill-natured mischief, 
seemed to convey a promise of wit and intellect. 

" I don't mean to make any boast about it," said Johnny. 

" I doubt whether you know anything. The pretty simplicity of 
your excellent Lily Dale has sufficed for you." 

"Never mind about her," said Johnny impatiently. 

" I do not mind about her in the least. But an insight into that 
sort of simplicity will not teach you the character of a real woman. 
You cannot learn the flavour of wines by sipping sherry and water. For 
myself I do not think that I am simple. I own it fairly. If you must 
have simplicity, I cannot be to your taste." 

"Nobody likes partridge always," said Johnny laughing. 

"I understand you, sir. And though what you say is not compli- 
mentary, I am willing to forgive that fault for its truth. I don't consider 
myself to be always partridge, I can assure you. I am as changeable 
as the moon." 

"And as fickle?" 

" I say nothing about that, sir. I leave you to find that out. It is 
a man's business to discover that for himself. If you really do know 
aught of women " 

" I did not say that I did." 

" But if you do, you will perhaps have discovered that a woman 
may be as changeable as the moon, and yet as true as the sun ; that 
she may flit from flower to flower, quite unheeding while no passion 
exists, but that a passion fixes her at once. Do you believe me ? " 
Now she looked into his eyes again, but did not smile and did not 
shake her locks. 



MISS DEMOLINES DESIRES TO BECOME A FINGER-POST. 349 

" Oh yes ; that's true enough. And when they have a lot of 
children, then they become steady as milestones." 

" Children!" said Madalina, getting up and walking about the 
room. 

" They do have them you know," said Johnny. 

" Do you mean to say, sir, that I should be a milestone ?" 

" A finger-post," said Johnny, " to show a fellow the way he ought 
to go." 

She walked twice across the room without speaking. Then she 
came and stood opposite to him, still without speaking, and then she 
walked about again. " What could a woman better be, than a finger- 
post, as you call it, with such a purpose ? " 

" Nothing better, of course ; though a milestone to tell a fellow his 
distances, is very good." 

"Psha!" 

" You don't like the idea of being a milestone." 

"No!" 

" Then you can make up your mind to be a finger-post." 

" John, shall I be a finger-post for you ?" She stood and looked 
at him for a moment or two, with her eyes full of love, as though she 
were going to throw herself into his arms. And she would have done 
so, no doubt, instantly, had he risen to his legs. As it was, after 
having gazed at him for the moment with her love-laden eyes, she flung 
herself on the sofa, and hid her face among the cushions. 

He had felt that it was coming for the last quarter of an hour, and 
he had felt, also, that he was quite unable to help himself. He did not 
believe that he should ever be reduced to marrying Miss Demolines, 
but he did see plainly enough that he was getting into trouble ; and 
yet, for his life, he could not help himself. The moth who flutters 
round the light knows that he is being burned, and yet he cannot fly 
away from it. When Madalina had begun to talk to him about women 
in general, and then about herself, and had told him that such a woman 
as herself, even one so liable to the disturbance of violent emotions, 
might yet be as true and honest as the sun, he knew that he ought 
to get up and make his escape. He did not exactly know how the 
catastrophe would come, but he was quite sure that if he remained 
there he would be called upon in some way for a declaration of his 
sentiments, and that the call would be one which all his wit would 
not enable him to answer with any comfort. It was very well jesting 
about milestones, but every jest brought him nearer to the precipice. 
He perceived that however ludicrous might be the image which his 



350 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

words produced, she was clever enough in some way to turn that image 
to her own purpose. He had called a woman a finger-post, and forth- 
with she had offered to come to him and be finger-post to him for life ! 
What was he to say to her ? It was clear that he must say something. 
As at this moment she was sobhing violently, he could not pass the 
offer by as a joke. Women will say that his answer should have 
" been very simple, and his escape very easy. But men will understand 
that it is not easy to reject even a Miss Demolines when she offers 
herself for matrimony. And, moreover, as Johnny bethought himself 
at this crisis of his fate, Lady Demolines was no doubt at the other 
side of the drawing-room door, ready to stop him, should he attempt to 
run away. In the meantime the sobs on the sofa became violent, and 
still more violent. He had not even yet made up his mind what to do, 
when Madalina, springing to her feet, stood before him, with her curls 
wildly waving and her arms extended. "Let it be as though it' were 
unsaid," she exclaimed. John Eames had not the slightest objection ; 
but, nevertheless, there was a difficulty even in this. Were he simply 
to assent to this latter proposition, it could not be but that the feminine 
nature of Miss Demolines would be outraged by so uncomplimentary an 
acquiescence. He felt that he ought at least to hesitate a little, to 
make some pretence at closing upon the rich offer that had been made 
to him ; only that were he to show any such pretence the rich offer 
would, no doubt, be repeated. His Madalina had twitted him in the 
earlier part of their interview with knowing nothing of the nature of 
women. He did know enough to feel assured that any false step on his 
part now would lead him into very serious difficulties. * ' Let it be as 
though it were unsaid! Why, oh, why, have I betrayed myself?" 
exclaimed Madalina. 

John now had risen from his chair, and coming up to her took 
her by the arm and spoke a word. " Compose yourself," he said. 
He spoke in his most affectionate voice, and he stood very close 
to her. 

" How easy it is to bid me do that," said Madalina. " Tell the sea 
to compose itself when it rages ! " 

" Madalina ! " said he, 

" Well, what of Madalina ? Madalina has lost her own respect, 
for ever." 

" Do not say that." 

" Oh, John, why did yon ever come here ? Why ? Why did we 
meet at that fatal woman's house ? Or, meeting so, why did we not 
part as strangers ? Sir, why have you come here to my mother's house 




" WHAT IS IT THAT I BEHOLD?" 



MISS DEMOLINES DESIRES TO BECOME A FINGER-POST. 351 

day after day, evening after evening, if . Oh, heavens, "what am I 

saying ? I wonder whether you will scorn me always ? " 

" I will never scorn you." 

" And you will pardon me ? " 

" Madalina, there is nothing to pardon." 

" And you will love me ?" Then, without waiting for any more 
encouraging reply, unable, probably, to wait a moment longer, she 
sunk upon his bosom. He caught her, of course, and at that moment 
the drawing-room door was opened, and Lady Demolines entered the 
chamber. John Eames detected at a glance the skirt of the old white 
dressing gown which he had seen whisking away on the occasion of his 
last visit at Porchester Terrace. But on the present occasion Lady 
Demolines wore over it a short red opera cloak, and the cap on her 
head was ornamented with coloured ribbons. "What is this," she 
said, "and why am I thus disturbed?" Madalina lay motionless 
in Johnny's arms, while the old woman glowered at him from under the 
coloured ribbons. " Mr. Eames, what is it that I behold ? " she said. 

" Your daughter, madam, seems to be a little unwell," said Johnny. 
Madalina kept her feet firm upon the ground, but did not for a moment 
lose her purchase against Johnny's waistcoat. Her respirations came 
very strong, but they came a good deal stronger when he mentioned 
the fact that she was not so well as she might be. 

" Unwell!" said Lady Demolines. And John was stricken at the 
moment with a conviction that her ladyship must have passed the early 
years of her life upon the stage. " You would trifle with me, sir. 
Beware that you do not trifle with her, with Madalina ! ' 

" My mother," said Madalina ; but still she did not give up her 
purchase, and the voice seemed to come half from her and half from 
Johnny. " Come to me, my mother." Then Lady Demolines hastened 
to her daughter, and Madalina between them was gradually laid at her 
length upon the sofa. The work of laying her out, however, was left 
almost entirely to the stronger arm of Mr. John Eames. "Thanks, 
mother," said Madalina ; but she had not as yet opened her eyes, even 
for an instant. " Perhaps I had better go now," said Johnny. The 
old woman looked at him with eyes which asked him whether " he 
didn't wish he might get it" as plainly as though the words had been 
pronounced. " Of course I'll wait if I can be of any service," said 
Johnny. 

" I must know more of this, sir, before you leave the house," said 
Lady Demolines. He saw that between them both there might pro- 
bably be a very bad quarter of an hour in store for him ; but he swore 



852 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

to himself that no union of dragon and tigress should extract from him 
a word that could be taken as a promise of marriage. 

The old woman was now kneeling by the head of the sofa, and 
Johnny was standing close by her side. Suddenly Madalina opened 
her eyes, opened them very wide and gazed around her. Then slo\vly 
she raised herself on the sofa, and turned her face first upon her 
mother and then upon Johnny. " You here, mamma ! " she said. 

" Dearest one, I am near you. Be not afraid," said her ladyship. 

"Afraid! Why should I be afraid? John! My own John! 
Mamrna, he is my own." And she put out her arms to him, as though 
calling to him to come to her. Things were now very bad with John 
Eames, so bad that he would have given a considerable lump out of 
Lord de Guest's legacy to be able to escape at once into the street. 
The power of a woman, when she chooses to use it recklessly, is, for 
the moment, almost unbounded. 

"I hope you find yourself a little better," said John, struggling to 
speak, as though he were not utterly crushed by the occasion. 

Lady Demolines slowly raised herself from her knees, helping 
herself with her hands against the shoulder of the -sofa, for though 
still very clever, she was old and stiff, and then offered both her hands 
to Johnny. Johnny cautiously took one of them, finding himself unable 
to decline them both. " My son ! " she exclaimed; and before he knew 
where he was the old woman had succeeded in kissing his nose and his 
whiskers. " My son ! " she said again. 

Now the time had come for facing the dragon and the tigress in 
their wrath. If they were to be faced at all, the time for facing them 
had certainly arrived. I fear that John's heart sank low in his bosom at 
that moment. " I don't quite understand," he said, almost in a whisper. 
Madalina put out one arm towards him, and the fingers trembled. 
Her lips were opened, and the white row of interior ivory might be seen 
plainly ; but at the present conjuncture of affairs she spoke not a word. 
She spoke not a word ; but her arm remained stretched out towards 
him, and her fingers did not cease to tremble. 

" You do not understand ! " said Lady Demolines, drawing herself 
back, and looking, in her short open cloak, like a knight who has donned 
his cuirass, but has forgotten to put on his leg-gear. And she shook 
the bright ribbons of her cap, as a knight in his wrath shakes the crest 
of his helmet. "You do not understand, Mr. Eames! What is it, 
sir, that you do not understand ? " 

" There is some misconception, I mean," said Johnny. 

" Mother ! " said Madalina, turning her eyes from her recreant lover 



MISS DEMOLINES DESIKES TO BECOME A FlNGEK-POST. 353 

to her tender parent ; trembling all over, but still keeping her hand 
extended. "Mother ! " 

" My darling ! But leave him to me, dearest. Compose yourself." 

" 'Twas the word that he said this moment ; before he pressed me 
to his heart." 

" I thought you were fainting," said Johnny. 

" Sir! " And Lady Demolines, as she spoke, shook her crest, and 
glared at him, and almost flew at him in her armour. 

" It may be that nature has given way with me, and that I have 
been in a dream," said Madalina. 

" That which mine eyes saw was no dream," said Lady Demolines. 
" Mr. Eames, I have given to you the sweetest name that can fall from 
an old woman's lips. I have called you my son." 

"Yes, you did, I know. But, as I said before, there is some 
mistake. I know how proud I ought to be, and how happy, and all 

that kind of thing. But -" Then there came a screech from 

Madalina, which would have awakened the dead, had there been any 
dead in that house. The page and the cook, however, took no notice 
of it, whether they were awakened or not. And having screeched, 
Madalina stood erect upon the floor, and she also glared upon her 
recreant lover. The dragon and the tiger were there before him now, and 
he knew that it behoved him to look to himself. As he had a battle to 
fight, might it not be best to put a bold face upon it ? " The truth 
is," said he, " that I don't understand this kind of thing at all." 

" Not understand it, sir ? " said the dragon. 

" Leave him to me, mother," said the tigress, shaking her head 
again, but with a kind of shake differing from that which she had used 
before. " This is my business, and I'll have it out for myself. If he 
thinks I'm going to put up with his nonsense he's mistaken. I've been 
straightforward and above board with you, Mr. Eames, and I expect to 
be treated in the same way in return. Do you mean to tell my mother 
that you deny that we are engaged ? " 

" Well; yes ; I do. I'm very sorry, you know, if I seem to be 
uncivil " 

" It's because I've no brother," said the tigress. " He thinks that 
I have no man near me to protect me. But he shall find that I can 
protect myself. John Eames, why are you treating me like this ? " 

"I shall consult my cousin the serjeant to-morrow," said the 
dragon. " In the meantime he must remain in this house. I shall not 
allow the front door to be unlocked for him." 

This, I think, was the bitterest moment of all to Johnny. To be 

II. xxxi. 3 B 



354 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

confined all night in Lady Demolines' drawing-room would, of itself, be 
an intolerable nuisance. And then the absurdity of the thing, and the 
story that would go abroad ! And what should he say to the dragon's 
cousin the Serjeant, if the serjeant should be brought upon the field 
before he was able to escape from it. He did not know what a serjeant 
might not do to him in such circumstances. There was one thing 
no serjeant should do, and no dragon ! Between them all they should 
never force him to marry the tigress. At this moment Johnny heard 
a tramp along the pavement, and he rushed to the window. Before the 
dragon or even the tigress could arrest him, he had thrown up the sash, 
and had appealed in his difficulty to the guardian of the night. " I say, 
old fellow," said Johnny, " don't you stir from that till I tell you." The 
policeman turned his bull's-eye upon the window, and stood perfectly 
motionless. "Now, if you please, I'll say good- night," said Johnny. 
But, as he spoke, he still held the open window in his hand. 

" What means this violence in my house ? " said the dragon. 

1 'Mamma, you had better let him go," said the tigress. "We 
shall know where to find him." 

" You will certainly be able to find me," said Johnny. 

" Go," said the dragon, shaking her crest, shaking all her armour 
at him, "dastard, go!" 

" Policeman," shouted Johnny, while he still held the open window 
in his hand, " mind you don't stir till I come out." The bull's-eye was 
shifted a little, but the policeman spoke never a word. 

"I wish you good-night, Lady Demolines," said Johnny. " Good- 
night, Miss Demolines." Then he left the window and made a run 
for the door. But the dragon was there before him. 

"Let him go, mamma," said the tigress as she closed the window. 
" We shall only have a rumpus." 

"That will be all," said Johnny. " There isn't the slightest use 
in your trying to keep me here." 

"And are we never to see you again?" said the tigress, almost 
languishing again with one eye. 

" Well ; no. What would be the use ? No man likes to be shut 
in, you know." 

" Go then," said the tigress ; " but if you think that this is to be the 
end of it, you'll find yourself wonderfully mistaken. You poor false, 
drivelling creature ! Lily Dale won't touch you with a pair of tongs. 
It's no use your going to her." 

" Go away, sir, this moment, and don't contaminate my room an 
instant longer by your presence," said the dragon, who had obsenvcl 



MISS DEMOLINES DESIEES TO BECOME A FINGER-POST. 355 

through the window that the bull's-eye was still in full force before the 
house. Then John Eames withdrew, and descending into the hall made 
his way in the dark to the front door. For aught he knew there might 
still be treacheiy in regard to the lock ; but his heart was comforted as 
he heard the footfall of the policeman on the door-step. With much 
fumbling he succeeded at last in turning the key and drawing the bolt, 
and then he found himself at liberty in the street. Before he even 
spoke a word to the policeman he went out into the road and looked 
up at the window. He could just see the figure of the dragon's helmet 
as she was closing the shutters. It was the last he ever saw of Lady 
Demolines or of her daughter. 

" What was it all about ? " said the policeman. 

" I don't know that I can just tell you," said Johnny, searching 
in his pocket-book for half a sovereign which he tendered to the man. 
" There was a little difficulty, and I'm obliged to you for waiting." 

" There ain't nothing wrong ? " said the man suspiciously, hesitating 
for a moment before he accepted the coin. 

" Nothing on earth. I'll wait with you, while you have the house 
opened and inquire, if you wish it. The truth is somebody inside 
refused to have the door opened, and I didn't want to stay there all 
night." 

" They're a rummy couple, if what I hear is true." 

" They are a rummy couple," said Johnny. 

" I suppose it's all right," said the policeman, taking the money. 
And then John walked off home by himself, turning in his mind all 
the circumstances of his connection with Miss Demolines. Taking his 
own conduct as a whole, he was rather proud of it ; but he acknowledged 
to himself that it would be well that he should < keep himself free from 
the society of Madalinas for the future. 



CHAPTER LXXXI. 
BARCHESTER CLOISTERS. 

ON the morning of the Sunday after the dean's return Mr. Harding was 
lying in his bed, and Posy was sitting on the bed beside him. It was 
manifest to all now that he became feebler and feebler from day to day, 
and that he would never leave his bed again. Even the archdeacon 
had shaken his head, and had acknowledged to his wife that the last 
day for her father was near at hand. It would very soon be necessary 
that he should select another vicar for St. E wolds. 

"Grandpa won't play cat's -cradle," said Posy, as Mrs. Arabin 
entered the room. 

"No, darling, not this morning," said the old man. He himself 
knew well enough that he would never play cat's-cradle again. Even 
that was over for him now. 

" She teases you, papa," said Mrs. Arabin. 

" No, indeed," said he. " Posy never teases me ;" and he slowly 
moved his withered hand down outside the bed, so as to hold the child 
by her frock. " Let her stay with me, my dear." 

" Dr. Filgrave is downstairs, papa. You will see him, if he comes 
up ? " Now Dr. Filgrave was the leading physician of Barchester, and 
nobody of note in the city, or for the matter of that in the eastern 
division of the county, was allowed to start upon the last great journey 
without some assistance from him as the hour of going drew nigh. I 
do not know that he had much reputation for prolonging life, but he 
was supposed to add a grace to the hour of departure. Mr. Harding 
had expressed no wish to see the doctor, : had rather declared his 
conviction that Dr. Filgrave could be of no possible service to him. 
But he was not a man to persevere in his objection in opposition to the 
wishes of the friends around him ; and as soon as the archdeacon had 
spoken a word on the subject he assented. 

" Of course, my dear, I will see him." 

" And Posy shall come back when he has gone," said Mrs. Arabiu. 

" Posy will do me more good than Dr. Filgrave I am quite sure ; 
but Posy shall go now." So Posy scrambled off the bed, and the doctor 
was ushered into the room. 

" A day or two will see the end of it. Mr, Archdeacon; I should 



BAROHESTER CLOISTERS. 357 

say a day or two," said the doctor, as lie met Dr. Grantly in the hall. 
" I should say that a day or two would see the end of it. Indeed I will 
not undertake that twenty-four hours may not see the close of his 
earthly troubles. He has no suffering, no pain, no disturbing cause. 
Nature simply retires to rest." Dr. Filgrave, as he said this, made a 
slow falling motion with his hands, which alone on various occasions 
had been thought to be worth all the money paid for his attendance. 
" Perhaps you would wish that I should step in in the evening, Mr. Dean ? 
As it happens, I shall be at liberty." The dean of course said tha,t he 
would take it as an additional favour. Neither the dean nor the arch- 
deacon had the slightest belief in Dr. Filgrave, and yet they would 
hardly have been contented that their father-in-law should have departed 
without him. 

" Look at that man, now," said the archdeacon, when the doctor 
had gone, " who talks so glibly about nature going to rest. I've known 
him all my life. He's an older man by some months than our dear old 
friend upstairs. And he looks as if he were going to attend death-beds 
in Barchester for ever." 

" I suppose he is right in what he tells us now ? " said the dean. 

" No doubt he is ; but my belief doesn't come from his saying it." 
Then there was a pause as the two church dignitaries sat together, 
doing nothing, feeling that the solemnity of the moment was such that 
it would be hardly becoming that they should even attempt to read. 
" His going will make an old man of me," said the archdeacon. " It 
will be different with you." 

" It will make an old woman of Eleanor, I fear." 

" I seem to have known him all my life," said the archdeacon. 
' ' I have known him ever since I left college ; and I have known him 
as one man seldom knows another. There is nothing that he has done, 
as I believe, nothing that he has thought, with which I have not 
been cognizant. I feel sure that he never had an impure fancy in his 
mind, or a faulty wish in his heart. His tenderness has surpassed the 
tenderness of woman ; and yet, when an occasion came for showing it, 
he had all the spirit of a hero. I shall never forget his resignation of 
the hospital, and all that I did and said to make him keep it." 

11 But he was right? " 

"As Septimus Harding he was, I think, right; but it would have 
been wrong in any other man. And he was right, too, about the 
deanery." For promotion had once come in Mr. Harding's way, and 
he, too, might have been Dean of Barchester. " The fact is, he never 
was wrong. He couldn't go wrong. He lacked guile, and he feared 



358 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BABSET. 

God, and a man who does both will never go far astray. I don't 
think he ever coveted aught in his life, except a new case for his 
violoncello and somebody to listen to him when he played it." Then 
the archdeacon got up, and walked about the room in his enthusiasm ; 
and, perhaps, as he walked some thoughts as to the sterner ambition of 
his own life passed through his mind. What things had he coveted ? 
Had he lacked guile ? He told himself that he had feared God, but 
he was not sure that he was telling himself true even in that. 

During the whole of the morning Mrs. Arabin and Mrs. Grantly 
were with their father, and during the greater part of the day there was 
absolute silence in the room. He seemed to sleep ; and they, though 
they knew that in truth he was not sleeping, feared to disturb him 
by a word. About two Mrs. Baxter brought him his dinner, and he 
did rouse himself, and swallowed a spoonful or two of soup and half a 
glass of wine. At this time Posy came to him, and stood at the bed- 
side, looking at him with 'her great wide eyes. She seemed to be 
aware that life had now gone so far with her dear old friend that she 
must not be allowed to sit upon his bed again. But he put his hand 
out to her, and she held it, standing quite still and silent. When 
Mrs. Baxter came to take away the tray, Posy's mother got up, and 
whispered a word to the child. Then Posy went away, and her eyes 
never beheld the old man again. That was a day which Posy will 
never forget, not though she should live to be much older than her 
grandfather was when she thus left him. 

" It is so sweet to have you both here," he said, when he had been 
lying silent for nearly an hour after the child had gone. Then they 
got up, and came and stood close to him. " There is nothing left for 
me to wish, my dears ; nothing." Not long after that he expressed a 
desire that the two husbands, his two sons-in-law, should come to 
him ; and Mrs. Arabin went to them, and brought them to the room. 
As he took their hands he merely repeated the same words again. 
''There is nothing left for me to wish, my dears; nothing." He 
never spoke again above his breath ; but ever and anon his daughters, 
who watched him, could see that he was praying. The two men did 
not stay with him long, but returned to the gloom of the library. The 
gloom had almost become the darkness of night, and they were still 
sitting there without any light, when Mrs. Baxter entered the room. 
" The dear gentleman is no more," said Mrs. Baxter ; and it seemed 
to the archdeacon that the very moment of his father's death had 
repeated itself. When Dr. Filgrave called he was told that his services 
could be of no further use. "Dear, dear! " said the doctor. "We 



BARCHESTER CLOISTERS. 359 

are all dust, Mrs. Baxter; are we not?" There were people in 
Barchester who pretended to know how often the doctor had repeated 
this little formula during the last thirty years. 

There was no violence of sorrow in the house that night ; but there 
were aching hearts, and one heart so sore that it seemed that no cure for 
its anguish could ever reach it. " He has always been with me," Mrs. 
Arabin said to her husband, as he strove to console her. " It was not 
that I loved him better than Susan, but I have felt so much more of his 
loving tenderness. The sweetness of his voice has been in my ears 
almost daily since I was born." 

They buried him in the cathedral which he had loved so well, and 
in which nearly all the work of his life had been done ; and all Bar- 
chester was there to see him laid in his grave within the cloisters. 
There was no procession of coaches, no hearse, nor was there any 
attempt at funereal pomp. From the dean's side door, across the 
vaulted passage, and into the transept, over the little step upon which 
he. had so nearly fallen when last he made his way out of the building, 
the coffin was carried on men's shoulders. It was but a short 
journey from his bedroom to his grave. But the bell had been tolling 
sadly all the morning, and the nave and the aisles and the transepts, 
close up to the door leading from the transept into the cloister, were 
crowded with those who had known the name and the figure and the 
voice of Mr. Harding as long as they had known anything. Up to this 
day no one would have said specially that Mr. Harding was a favourite 
in the town. He had never been forward enough in anything to 
become the acknowledged possessor of popularity. But, now that he 
was gone, men and women told each other how good he had been. 
They remembered the sweetness of his smile, and talked of loving little 
words which he had spoken to them, either years ago or the other 
day, for his words had always been loving. The dean and the arch- 
deacon came first, shoulder to shoulder, and after them came their 
wives. I do not know that it was the proper order for mourning, but 
it was a touching sight to be seen, and was long remembered in 
Barchester. Painful as it was for them, the two women would be there, 
and the two sisters would walk together ; nor would they go before 
their husbands. Then there were the archdeacon's two sons, for 
the Eev. Charles Grantly had come to Plumstead on the occasion. 
And in the vaulted passage which runs between the deanery and the 
end of the transept all the chapter, with the choir, the prebendaries, 
with the fat old chancellor, the precentor, and the minor canons 
down to the little choristers, they all were there, and followed in at 



360 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BA&SET. 

the transept door, two by two. And in the transept they were joined 
by another clergyman whom no one had expected to see that day. 
The bishop was there, looking old and worn, almost as though he 
were unconscious of what he was doing. Since his wife's death no 
one had seen him out of the palace or of the palace grounds till that 
day. But there he was, and they made way for him into the pro- 
cession behind the two ladies, and the archdeacon, when he saw it, 
resolved that there should be peace in his heart, if peace might be 
possible. 

They made their way into the cloisters where the grave had been 
dug, as many as might be allowed to follow. The place indeed was 
open to all who chose to come ; but they who had only slightly known 
the man, refrained from pressing upon those who had a right to stand 
around his coffin. But there was one other there whom the faithful 
chronicler of Barchester should mention. Before any other one had 
reached the spot, the sexton and the verger between them had led in 
between them, among the graves beneath the cloisters, a blind man, 
very old, with a wondrous stoop, but who must have owned a grand 
stature before extreme old age had bent him, and they placed him 
sitting on a stone in the corner of the archway. But as soon as the 
shuffling of steps reached his ears, he raised himself with the aid of his 
stick, and stood during the service leaning against the pillar. The 
blind man was so old that he might almost have been Mr. Harding' s 
father. This was John Bunce, a bedesman from Hiram's Hospital, 
and none perhaps there had known Mr. Harding better than he had 
known him. When the earth had been thrown on to the coffin, and 
the service was over, and they were about to disperse, Mrs. Arabin went 
up to the old man, and taking his hand between hers whispered a word 
into his ear. " Oh, Miss Eleanor," he said. " Oh, Miss Eleanor ! " 
Within a fortnight he also was lying within the cathedral precincts. 

And so they buried Mr. Septimus Harding, formerly Warden of 
Hiram's Hospital in the city of Barchester, of whom the chronicler 
may say that that city never knew a sweeter gentleman or a better 
Christian. 



CHAPTER LXXXII.' 



THE LAST SCENE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 

HE fortnight following Mr. 
Harding's death was passed very 
quietly at Hogglestock, for dur- 
ing that time no visitor made 
an appearance in the parish 
except Mr. Snapper on the 
Sundays. Mr. Snapper, when 
he had completed the service 
on the first of these Sundays, 
intimated to Mr. Crawley his 
opinion that probably that gen- 
tleman might himself wish to 
resume the duties on the fol- 
lowing Sabbath. Mr. Crawley, 
however, courteously declined 
to do anything of the kind. 
He said that it was quite out 
of the question that he should 
do so without a direct communication made to him from the bishop, or 
by the bishop's order. The assizes had, of course, gone by, and all 
question of the trial was over. Nevertheless, as Mr. Snapper said, 
the bishop had not, as yet, given any order. Mr. Snapper was of 
opinion that the bishop in these days was not quite himself. He had 
spoken to the bishop about it and the bishop had told him peevishly 
"I must say quite peevishly," Mr. Snapper had said, that nothing 
was to be done at present. Mr. Snapper was not the less clearly of 
opinion that Mr. Crawley might resume his duties. To this, however, 
Mr. Crawley would not assent. 

But even during the fortnight Mr. Crawley had not remained alto- 
gether neglected. Two days after Mr. Harding's death he had received 
a note from the dean in which he was advised not to resume the duties 
at Hogglestock for the present. " Of course you can understand that 
we have a sad house here at present," the dean had said. " But 
as soon as ever we are able to move in the matter we will arrange things 
for you as comfortably as we can. I will see the bishop myself." 
II. xxxii. 3 s 




362 THE LAST CHKONICLE OP BAKSET. 

Mr. Crawley had no ambitious idea of any comfort which might accrue 
to him beyond that of an honourable return to his humble preferment 
at Hogglestock ; but, nevertheless, he was in this case minded to do as 
the dean counselled him. He had submitted himself to the bishop, and 
he would wait till the bishop absolved him from his submission. 

On the day after the funeral, the bishop had sent his compliments to 
the dean with the expression of a wish that the dean would call upon 
him on any early day that might be convenient with reference to the 
position of Mr. Crawley of Hogglestock. The note was in the bishop's 
own handwriting and was as mild and civil as a bishop's note could be. 
Of course the dean named an early day for the interview ; but it was 
necessary before he went to the bishop that he should discuss the matter 
with the archdeacon. If St. Ewolds might be given to Mr. Crawley, 
the Hogglestock difficulties would all be brought to an end. The arch- 
deacon, after the funeral, had returned to Plumstead, and thither the 
dean went to him before he saw the bishop. He did succeed, he and 
Mrs. Grantly between them, but with very great difficulty, in obtaining 
a conditional promise. They had both thought that when the archdeacon 
became fully aware that Grace was to be his daughter-in-law, he would 
at once have been delighted to have an opportunity of extricating from 
his poverty a clergyman with whom it was his fate to be so closely con- 
nected. But he fought the matter on twenty different points. He 
declared at first that as it was his primary duty to give to the people 
of St. Ewolds the best clergyman he could select for them he could not 
give the preferment to Mr. Crawley, because Mr. Crawley, in spite of all 
his zeal and piety, was a man so quaint in his manners and so eccentric 
in his mode of speech as not to be the best clergyman whom he could 
select. " What is my old friend Thome to do with a man in his parish 
who won't drink a glass of wine with him ? " For Ullathome, the seat 
of that Mr. Wilfred Thome who had been so guilty in the matter of;the 
foxes, was situated in the parish of St. Ewolds. When Mrs. Grantly pro- 
posed that Mr. Thome's consent should be asked, the archdeacon 
became very angry. He had never heard so unecclesiastical a 
proposition in his life. It was his special duty to do the best he 
could for Mr. Thorne, but it was specially his duty to do so without 
consulting Mr. Thome about it. As the archdeacon's objection had 
been argued simply on the point of the glass of wine, both the dean and 
Mrs. .Grantly thought that he was unreasonable. But they had their 
point to gain, and therefore they only flattered him. They were sure 
that Mr. Thorne would like to have a clergyman in the parish who would 
himself be closely connected with the archdeacon. Then Dr. Grantly 



THE LAST SCENE AT HOGGLE STOCK. 363 

alleged that lie might find himself in a trap. What if he conferred the 
living of St. Ewolds on Mr. Crawley and after all there should be no 
marriage between his son and Grace? " Of course they'll be married," 
said Mrs. Grantly. "It's all very well for you to say that, my dear ; 
but the whole family are so queer that there is no knowing what the girl 
may do. She may take up some other fad now, and refuse him point 
blank." " She has never taken up any fad," said Mrs. Grantly, who 
now mounted almost to wrath in defence of her future daughter-in-law, 
" and you are wrong to say that she has. She has behaved beautifully ; 
as nobody knows better than you do." Then the archdeacon gave 
way so far as to promise that St. Ewolds should be offered to Mr. Crawley 
as soon as Grace Crawley was in truth engaged to Harry Grantly. 

After that, the dean went to the palace. There had never been any 
quarrelling between the bishop and the dean, either direct or indirect ; 
nor, indeed, had the dean ever quarrelled even with Mrs. Proudie. But 
he had belonged to the anti-Proudie faction. He had been brought into 
the diocese by the Grantly interest ; and therefore, during Mrs. Proudie' s 
life-time, he had always been accounted among the enemies. There 
had never been any real intimacy between the houses. Each house had 
been always asked to dine with the other house once a year ; but it had 
been understood that such dinings were ecclesiastico-omcial, and not 
friendly. There had been the same outside diocesan civility between 
even the palace and Plumstead. But now, when the great chieftain of 
the palace was no more, and the strength of the palace faction was 
gone, peace, or perhaps something more than peace, amity, perhaps, 
might be more easily arranged with the dean than with the archdeacon. 
In preparation for such arrangements the bishop had gone to Mr. 
Harding's funeral. 

And now the dean went to the palace at the bishop's behest. He 
found his lordship alone, and was received with almost reverential 
courtesy. He thought that the bishop was looking wonderfully aged 
since he last saw him, but did not perhaps take into account the 
absence of clerical sleekness which was incidental to the bishop's 
private life in his private room, and perhaps in a certain measure to 
his recent great affliction. The dean had been in the habit of regarding 
Dr. Proudie as a man almost young for his age, having been in the 
habit of seeing him at his best, clothed in authority, redolent of the 
throne, conspicuous as regarded his apron and outward signs of episco- 
pality. Much of all this was now absent. The bishop, as he rose to 
greet the dean, shuffled with his old slippers, and his hair was not 
brushed so becomingly as used to be the case when Mrs. Proudie was 
always near him. 8 s 2 



364 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

It was necessary that a word should be said by each as to -the loss 
which the other had suffered. "Mr. Dean," said his lordship, " allow 
me to offer you my condolements in regard to the death of that very 
excellent clergyman and most worthy gentleman, your father-in-law." 

" Thank you, my lord. He was excellent and worthy. I do not 
suppose that I shall live to see any man who was more so. You also 
have a great, a terrible loss." 

" 0, Mr. Dean, yes ; yes, indeed, Mr. Dean. That was a loss." 

" And hardly past the prime of life ! " 

"Ah, yes; -just fifty-six, and so strong! Was she not? At 
least everybody thought so. And yet she was gone in a minute ; 
gone in a minute. I haven't held up my head since, Mr. Dean." 

" It was a great loss, my lord ; but you must struggle to bear it." 

" I do struggle. I am struggling. But it makes one feel so lonely 
in this great house. Ah, me ! I often wish, Mr. Dean, that it had 
pleased Providence to have left me in some humble parsonage, where 
duty would have been easier than it is here. But I will not trouble 
you with all that. What are we to do, Mr. Dean, about this poor 
Mr. Crawley ?" 

" Mr. Crawley is a very old friend of mine, and a very dear friend." 

" Is he ? Ah ! A very worthy man, I am sure, and one who has 
been much tried by undeserved adversities." 

"Most severely tried, my lord." 

" Sitting among the potsherds, like Job ; has he not, Mr. Dean ? 
Well ; let us hope that all that is over. When this accusation about 
the robbery was brought against him, I found myself bound to interfere." 

" He has no complaint to make on that score." 

" I hope not. I have not wished to be harsh, but what could I do, 
Mr. Dean ? They told me that the civil authorities found the evidence 
so strong against him that it could not be withstood." 

" It was very strong." 

" And we thought that he should at least be relieved, and we sent 
for Dr. Tempest, who is his rural dean." Then the bishop, remember- 
ing all the circumstances of that interview with Dr. Tempest, as to which 
he had ever felt assured that one of the results of it was the death of 
his wife, whereby there was no longer any " we " left in the palace of 
Barchester, sighed piteously, looking up at the dean with hopeless face. 

" Nobody doubts, my lord, that you acted for the best." 

" I hope we did. I think we did. And now what shall we do ? 
He has resigned his living, both to you and to me, as I hear, you 
being the patron. It will simply be necessary, I think, that he should 



THE LAST SCENE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 365 

ask to have the letters cancelled. Then, as I take it, there need be 
no reinstitution. You cannot think, Mr. Dean, how much I have 
thought about it all." 

Then the dean unfolded his budget, and explained to the bishop 
how he hoped that the living of St. Ewolds, which was, after some 
ecclesiastical fashion, attached to the rectory of Plumstead, and which 
was now vacant by the demise of Mr. Harding, might be conferred by 
the archdeacon upon Mr. Crawley. It was necessary to explain also 
that this could not be done quite immediately, and in doing this the 
dean encountered some little difficulty. The archdeacon, he said, wished 
to be allowed another week to think about it ; and therefore perhaps 
provision for the duties at Hogglestock might yet be made for a few 
Sundays. The bishop, the dean said, might easily understand that, 
after what had occurred, Mr. Crawley would hardly wish to go again 
into that pulpit, unless he did so as resuming duties which would 
necessarily be permanent with him. To all this the bishop assented, 
but he was apparently struck with much wonder at the choice made by 
the archdeacon. " I should have thought, Mr. Dean," he said, " that 
Mr. Crawley was the last man to have suited the archdeacon's choice." 

" The archdeacon and I married sisters, my lord." 

" Oh, ah ! yes. And he puts the nomination of St. Ewolds at your 
disposition. I am sure I shall be delighted to institute so worthy a 
gentleman as Mr. Crawley." Then the dean took his leave of the 
bishop, as will we also. Poor dear bishop ! I am inclined to think 
that he was right in his regrets as to the little parsonage. Not that his 
failure at Barchester, and his present consciousness of lonely incom- 
petence, were mainly due to any positive inefficiency on his own part. 
He might have been a sufficiently good bishop, had it not been that 
Mrs. Proudie was so much more than a sufficiently good bishop's wife. 
We will now say farewell to him, with a hope that the lopped tree may 
yet become green again, and to some extent fruitful, although all its 
beautiful head and richness of waving foliage have been taken from it. 

About a week after this Henry Grantly rode over from Cosby Lodge 
to Hogglestock. It has been just said that though the assizes had 
passed by and though all question of Mr. Crawley's guilt was now set 
aside, no visitor had of late made his way over to Hogglestock. I fancy 
that Grace Crawley forgot, in the fulness of her memory as to other 
things, that Mr. Harding, of whose death she heard, had been her 
lover's grandfather, and that therefore there might possibly be some 
delay. Had there been much said between the mother and the daughter 
about the lover, no doubt all this would have been explained; but 



866 THE LAST CHBONICLE OP BARSET. 

Grace was very reticent, and there were other matters in the Hogglestock 
household which in those days occupied Mrs. Crawley's mind. How 
were they again to begin life ? for, in very truth, life as it had existed 
with them before, had been brought to an end. But Grace remembered 
well the sort of compact which existed between her and her lover ; 
the compact which had been made in very words between herself and 
her lover's father. Complete in her estimation as had been the heaven 
opened to her by Henry Grantly's offer, she had refused it all, lest 
she should bring disgrace upon him. But the disgrace was not certain ; 
and if her father should be made free from it, then, then, then Henry 
Grantly ought to come to her and be at her feet with all the expedition 
possible to him. That was her reading of the compact. She had once 
declared, when speaking of the possible disgrace which might attach 
itself to her family and to her name, that her poverty did not " signify 
a bit." She was not ashamed of her father, only of the accusation 
against her father. Therefore she had hurried home when that 
accusation was withdrawn, desirous that her lover should tell her of 
his love, if he chose to repeat such telling, amidst all the poor things 
of Hogglestock, and not among the chairs and tables and good dinners 
of luxurious Framley. Mrs. Eobarts had given a true interpretation to 
Lady Lufton of the haste which Grace had displayed. But she need 
not have been in so great a hurry. She had been at home already 
above a fortnight, and as yet he had made no sign. At last she said a 
word to her mother. " Might I not ask to go back to Miss Prettyman's 
now, mamma ? " "I think, dear, you had better wait till things are a 
little settled. Papa is to hear again from the dean very soon. You see 
they are all in a great sorrow at Barchester about poor Mr. Harding's 
death." " Grace ! " said Jane, rushing into the house almost speechless, 
at that moment, "here he is! on horseback." I do not know why 
Jane should have talked about Major Grantly as simply "he." There 
had been no conversation among the sisters to justify her in such a 
mode of speech. Grace had not a moment to put two and two together, 
BO that she might realize the meaning of what her mother had said ; 
but nevertheless, she felt at the moment that the man, coming as ha 
had done now, had come with all commendable speed. How foolish 
had she been with her wretched impatience ! 

There he was certainly, tying his horse up to the railing. "Mamma, 
what am I to say to him ? " 

" Nay, dear ; he is your own friend, of your own making. You 
must say what you think fit." 

" You are not going ? " 



THE LAST SCENE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 367 

11 1 think we had better, dear." Then she went, and Jane with her, 
and Jane opened the door for Major Grantly. Mr. Crawley himself 
was away, at Hoggle End, and did not return till after Major Grantly 
had left the parsonage. Jane, as she greeted the grand gentleman, whom 
she had seen and no more than seen, hardly knew what to say to him. 
When, after a minute's hesitation, she told him that Grace was in there, 
pointing to the sitting-room door, she felt that she had been very 
awkward. Henry Grantly, however, did not, I think, feel her awkward- 
ness, being conscious of some small difficulties of his own. When, how- 
ever, he found that Grace was alone, the task before him at once lost hah 
its difficulties. " Grace," he said, " am I right to come to you now ? " 

" I do not know," she said. " I cannot tell." 

"Dearest Grace, there is no reason on earth now why you should 
not be my wife." 

" Is there not ? " 

" I know of none, if you can love me. You saw my father ? " 

" Yes, I saw him." 

" And you heard what he said ? " 

" I hardly remember what he said ; but he kissed me, and I thought 
he was very kind." 

What little attempt Henry Grantly then made, thinking that he 
could not do better than follow closely the example of so excellent a 
father, need not be explained with minuteness. But I think that his 
first effort was not successful. Grace was embarrassed and retreated, 
and it was not till she had been compelled to give a direct answer to a 
direct question that she submitted to allow his arm round her waist. 
But when she had answered that question she was almost more humble 
than becomes a maiden who has just been wooed and won. A maiden 
who has been wooed and won, generally thinks that it is she who has 
conquered, and chooses to be triumphant accordingly. But Grace was 
even mean enough to thank her lover. "I do not know why you should 
be so good to me," she said. 

" Because I love you," said he, " better than all the world." 

" But why should you be so good to me as that ? Why should you 
love me ? I am such a poor thing for a man like you to love." 

" I have had the wit to see that you are not a poor thing, Grace ; 
and it is thus that I have earned my treasure. Some girls are poor 
things, and some are rich treasures." 

" If love can make me a treasure, I will be your treasure. And if 
love can make me rich, I will be rich for you." After that I think he 
had no difficulty in foil owing- in his father's footsteps. 



LAST CHRONICLE OP BABSE?. 

After a while Mrs. Crawley came in, and there was much pleasant 
talking among them, while Henry Grantly sat happily with his love, as 
though waiting for Mr. Crawley 's return. But though he was there 
nearly all the morning Mr. Crawley did not return. " I think he likes 
the brickmakers better than anybody in all the world, except ourselves," 
said Grace. " I don't know how he will manage to get on without 
his friends." Before Grace had said this, Major Grantly had told all 
his story, and had produced a letter from his father, addressed to Mr. 
Crawley, of which the reader shall have a copy, although at this time 
the letter had not been opened. The letter was as follows : 

" MY DEAR SIR, " Plumstead Rectory, May, 186 . 

" You will no doubt have heard that Mr. Harding, the vicar 
of St. Ewolds, who was the father of my wife and of Mrs. Arabin, has 
been taken from us. The loss to us of so excellent and so dear a man 
has been very great. I have conferred with my friend the Dean of 
Barchester as to a new nomination, and I venture to request your 
acceptance of the preferment, if it should suit you to move from Hoggle- 
stock to St. Ewolds. It may be as well that I should state plainly my 
reasons for making this offer to a gentleman with whom I am not 
personally acquainted. Mr. Harding, on his deathbed, himself suggested 
it, moved thereto by what he had heard of the cruel and undeserved 
persecution to which you have lately been subjected ; as also, on which 
point he was very urgent in what he said, by the character which you 
bear in the diocese for zeal and piety. I may also add, that the close 
connection which, as I understand, is likely to take place between your 
family and mine has been an additional reason for my taking this step, 
and the long friendship which has existed between you and my wife's 
brother-in-law, the Dean of Barchester, is a third. 

" St. Ewolds is worth 350L per annum, besides the house, which is 
sufficiently commodious for a moderate family. The population is about 
twelve hundred, of which more than a half consists of persons dwelling 
in an outskirt of the city, for the parish runs almost into Barchester. 

" I shall be glad to have your reply with as little delay as may suit 
your convenience, and in the event of your accepting the offer, which 
I sincerely trust you may be enabled to do, I shall hope to have an 
early opportunity of seeing you, with reference to your institution to 
the parish. 

" Allow me also to say to you and to Mrs. Crawley that, if we have 
been correctly informed as to that other event to which I have alluded, 
we both hope that we may have an early opportunity of making our- 



THE LAST SCENE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 369 

selves personally acquainted with the parents of a young lady who is to 
be so dear to us. As I have met your daughter, I may perhaps be 
allowed to send her my kindest love. If, as my daughter-in-law, she 
comes up to the impression which she gave me at our first meeting, I, 
at any rate, shall be satisfied. 

" I have the honour to be, my dear sir, 
" Your most faithful servant, 

" THEOPHILUS GRANTLY." 

This letter the archdeacon had shown to his wife, by whom it had 
not been very warmly approved. Nothing, Mrs. Grantly had said, 
could be prettier than what the archdeacon had said about Grace. 
Mrs. Crawley, no doubt, would be satisfied with that. But Mr. Crawley 
was such a strange man ! " He will be stranger than I take him to be 
if he does not accept St. Ewolds," said the archdeacon. " But in 
offering it," said Mrs. Grantly "you have not said a word of your 
own high opinion of his merits." " I have not a very high opinion of 
them," said the archdeacon. " Your father had, and I have said so. 
And as I have the most profound respect for your father's opinion in 
such a matter, I have permitted that to overcome my own hesitation." 
This was pretty from the husband to the wife as it regarded her father, 
who had now gone from them ; and, therefore, Mrs. Grantly accepted it 
without further argument. The reader may probably feel assured that 
the archdeacon had never, during their joint lives, acted in any church 
matter upon the advice given to him by Mr. Harding ; and it was pro- 
bably the case also that the living would have been offered to Mr. 
Crawley, if nothing had been said by Mr. Harding on the subject ; but 
it did not become Mrs. Grantly even to think of all this. The arch- 
deacon, having made his gracious speech about her father, was not 
again asked to alter his letter. " I suppose he will accept it," said 
Mrs. Grantly. "I should think that he probably may," said the 
archdeacon. 

So Grace, knowing what was the purport of the letter, sat with it 
between her fingers, while her lover sat beside her, full of various plans 
for the future. This was his first lover's present to her ; and what a 
present it was ! Comfort, and happiness, and a pleasant home for all 
her family. " St. Ewolds isn't the best house in the world," said the 
major, " because it is old, and what I call piecemeal; but it is very 
pretty, and certainly nice." " That is just the sort of parsonage that I 
dream about," said Jane. " And the garden is pleasant with old 
trees," said the major. " I always dream about old trees," said Jane, 



370 THE LAST CilliOXICLE OF BAESET. 

" only I'm afraid I'm too old myself to be let to climb up them now." 
Mrs. Crawley said very little, but sat by with her eyes full of tears. 
Was it possible that, at last, before the world had closed upon her, she 
was to enjoy something again of the comforts which she had known in 
her early years, and to be again surrounded by*those decencies of life 
which of late had been almost banished from her home by poverty ! 

Their various plans for the future, for the immediate future, 
were very startling. Grace was to go over at once to Plumstead, whither 
Edith had been already transferred from Cosby Lodge. That was all very 
well ; there was nothing very startling or impracticable in that. The 
Framley ladies, having none of those doubts as to what was coming which 
had for a while perplexed Grace herself, had taken little liberties with her 
wardrobe, which enabled such a visit to be made without overwhelming 
difficulties. But the major was equally eager, or at any rate equally 
imperious, in his requisition for a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Crawley 
themselves to Plumstead rectory. Mrs. Crawley did not* dare to put 
forward the plain unadorned reasons against it, as Mr. Crawley had 
done when discussing the subject of a visit to the deanery. Nor could 
she quite venture to explain that she feared that the archdeacon and 
her husband would hardly mix well together in society. With whom, 
indeed, was it possible that her husband should mix well, after his long 
and hardly-tried seclusion ? She could only plead that both her 
husband and herself were so little used to going out that she feared, 
she feared, she feared she knew not what. " We'll get over all that," 
said the major, almost contemptuously. "It is only the first plunge 
that is disagreeable." Perhaps the major did not know how very dis- 
agreeable a first plunge may be ! 

At two o'clock Henry Grantly got up to go. "I should very much 
like to have seen him, but I fear I cannot wait longer. As it is, the 
patience of my horse has been surprising." Then Grace walked out with 
him to the gate, and put her hand upon his bridle as he mounted, and 
thought how wonderful was the power of Fortune, that the goddess 
should have sent so gallant a gentleman to be her lord and her lover. 
" I declare I don't quite believe it even yet," she said, in the letter 
which she wrote to Lily Dale that night. 

It was four before Mr. Crawley returned to his house, and then he 
was very weary. There were many sick in these days at Hoggle End, 
and he had gone from cottage to cottage through the day. Giles 
Hoggett was almost unable to work from rheumatism, but still was 
of opinion that doggedness might carry him on. " It's been a deal o' 
service to you, Muster Crawley," he said. " We hears about it all. 




PERADVENTUKE UK SIGNIFIES HIS Crr 



THE LAST SCENE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 371 

If you hadn't a been dogged, where'd you a been now ? " With Giles 
Hoggett and others he had remained all the day, and now he came home 
weary and beaten. "You'll tell him first," Grace had said, " and then 
I'll give him the letter." The wife was the first to tell him of the good 
fortune that was coming. 

He flung himself into the old chair as soon as he entered, and asked 
for some bread and tea. "Jane has already gone for it, dear," said 
his wife. " We have had a visitor here, Josiah." 

" A visitor, what visitor ? " 

" Grace's own friend, Henry Grantly." 

" Grace, come here, that I may kiss you and bless you," he said, 
very solemnly. " It would seem that the world is going to be very 
good to you." 

" Papa, you must read this letter first." 

" Before I kiss my own darling ? " Then she knelt at his feet. 
"I see," he said, taking the letter; "it is from your lover's father. 
Peradventure he signifies his consent, which would be surely needful 
before such a marriage would be seemly." 

" It isn't about me, papa, at all." 

" Not about you ? If so, that would be most unpromising. But, 
in any case, you are my best darling." Then he kissed her and blessed 
her, and slowly opened the letter. His wife had now come close to 
him, and was standing over him, touching him, so that she also could 
read the archdeacon's letter. Grace, who was still in front of him, 
could see the working of his face as he read it ; but even she could not 
tell whether he was gratified, or offended, or dismayed. When he had 
got as far as the first offer of the presentation, he ceased reading for a 
while, and looked round about the room as though lost in thought. " Let 
me see what further he writes to me," he then said ; and after that he 
continued the letter slowly to the end. "Nay, my child, you were in 
error in saying that he wrote not about you. 'Tis in writing of you he 
has put some real heart into his words. He writes as though his home 
would be welcome to you." 

" And does he not make St. Ewolds welcome to you, papa ? " 

" He makes me welcome to accept it, if I may use the word after 
the ordinary and somewhat faulty parlance of mankind." 

" And you will accept it, of course ? " 

" I know not that, my dear. The acceptance of a cure of souls is 
a thing not to be decided on in a moment, as is the colour of a 
garment or the shape of a toy. Nor would I condescend to take this 
thing from the archdeacon's hands, if I thought that he bestowed it 



872 THE LAST CHEONICLE OF BAKSET. 

simply that the father of his daughter-in-law might no longer be 
accounted poor." 

" Does he say that, papa ? " 

" He gives it as a collateral reason, basing his offer first on the 
kindly expressed judgment of one who is now no more. Then he refers 
to the friendship of the dean. If he believed that the judgment of his 
late father-in-law in so weighty a matter were the best to be relied 
upon of all that were at his command, then he would have done well 
to trust to it. But in such case he should have bolstered up a good 
ground for action with no collateral supports which are weak, and 
worse than weak. However, it shall have my best consideration, 
whereunto I hope that wisdom will be given me where only such 
wisdom can be had." 

" Josiah," said his wife to him, when they were alone, " you will 
not refuse it ? " 

" Not willingly, not if it may be accepted. Alas ! you need not 
urge me, when the temptation is so strong ! " 



CHAPTER LXXXHI. 

MR. CEAWLEY IS CONQUERED. 

IT was more than a week before the archdeacon received a reply from 
Mr. Crawley, during which time the dean had been over at Hogglestock 
more than once, as had also Mrs. Arabin and Lady Lufton the younger, 
and there had been letters written without end, and the archdeacon 
had been nearly beside himself. " A man who pretends to conscientious 
scruples of that kind is not fit to have a parish," he had said to his 
wife. His wife understood what he meant, and I trust that the reader 
may also understand it. In the ordinary cutting of blocks a very fine 
razor is not an appropriate instrument. The archdeacon, moreover, 
loved the temporalities of the Church as temporalities. The Church 
was beautiful to him because one man by interest might have a thousand 
a year, while another man equally good, but without interest, could only 
have a hundred. And he liked the men who had the interest a great 
deal better than the men who had it not. He had been willing to 
admit this poor perpetual curate, who had so long been kept out in the 
cold, within the pleasant circle which was warm with ecclesiastical good 
things, and the man hesitated, because of scruples, as the dean told 
him ! "I always button up my pocket when I hear of scruples," the 
archdeacon said. 

But at last Mr. Crawley condescended to accept St. Ewolds. 
" Reverend and dear Sir," he said in his letter. "For the personal 
benevolence of the offer made to me in your letter of the instant, I 
beg to tender you my most grateful thanks ; as also for your generous 
kindness to me, in telling me of the high praise bestowed upon me by a 
gentleman who is now no more, whose character I have esteemed and 
whose good opinion I value. There is, methinks, something inexpressibly 
dear to me in the recorded praise of the dead. For the further instance 
of the friendship of the Dean of Barchester, I am also thankful. 

"Since the receipt of your letter I have doubted much as to my 
fitness for the work you have proposed to entrust to me, not from any 
feeling that the parish of St. Ewolds may be beyond my intellectual 
power, but because the latter circumstances of my life have been of a 
nature so strange and perplexing, that they have left me somewhat in 



374 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAESET. 

doubt as to my own aptitude for going about among men without giving 
offence and becoming a stumbling-block. 

" Nevertheless, reverend and dear sir, if after this confession on my 
part of a certain faulty demeanour with which I know well that I am 
afflicted, you are still willing to put the parish into my hands, I will 
accept the charge, instigated to do so by the advice of all whom I 
have consulted on the subject; and in thus accepting it, I hereby 
pledge myself to vacate it at a month's warning, should I be called upon 
by you to do so at any period within the next two years. Should I be 
so far successful during those twenty-four months as to have satisfied 
both yourself and myself, I may then perhaps venture to regard the 
preferment as my own in perpetuity for life. 

" I have the honour to be, reverend and dear sir, 

" Your most humble and faithful servant, 

" JOSIAH CRAWLEY." 

" Psha ! " said the archdeacon, who professed that he did not at all 
like the letter. " I wonder what he would say if I sent him a month's 
notice at next Michaelmas?" 

" I'm sure he would go," said Mrs. Grantly. 

" The more fool he," said the archdeacon. 

At this time Grace was at the parsonage in a seventh heaven of 
happiness. The archdeacon was never rough to her, nor did he make 
any of his harsh remarks about her father in her presence. Before her 
St. Ewolds was spoken of as the home that was to belong to the 
Crawleys for the next twenty years. Mrs. Grantly was very loving 
with her, lavishing upon her pretty presents, and words that were 
prettier than the presents. Grace's life had hitherto been so destitute 
of those prettinesses and softnesses, which can hardly be had without 
money though money alone will not purchase them, that it seemed to 
her now that the heavens rained graciousness upon her. It was not 
that the archdeacon's watch, or her lover's chain, or Mrs. Grantly's 
locket, or the little toy from Italy which Mrs. Arabin brought to her 
from the treasures of the deanery, filled her heart with undue exultation. 
It was not that she revelled in her new delights of silver and gold and 
shining gems : but that the silver and gold and shining gems were 
constant indications to her that things had changed, not only for her, 
but for her father and mother, and brother and sister. She felt now 
more sure than ever that she could not have enjoyed her love had she 
accepted her lover while the disgrace of the accusation against her 
father remained. But now, having waited till that had passed away, 
everything was a new happiness to her. 



ME. CEAWLEY IS CONQUEEED. 375 

At last it was settled that Mr. and Mrs. Crawley were to come to 
Plumstead, and they came. It would be too long to tell now how 
gradually had come about that changed state of things which made such 
a visit possible. Mr. Crawley had at first declared that such a thing 
was quite out of the question. If St. Ewolds was to depend upon it 
St. Ewolds must be given up. And I think that it would have been 
impossible for him to go direct from Hogglestock to Plumstead. But it 
fell out after this wise. 

Mr. Harding's curate at St. Ewolds was nominated to Hogglestock, 
and the dean urged upon his friend Crawley the expediency of giving up 
the house as quickly as he could do so. Gradually at this time Mr. 
Crawley had been forced into a certain amount of intimacy with the 
haunts of men. He had been twice or thrice at Barchester, and had 
lunched with the dean. He had been at Framley for an hour or two, 
and had been forced into some communication with old Mr. Thorne, the 
squire of his new parish. The end of this had been that he had at last 
consented to transfer himself and wife and daughter to the deanery for a 
fortnight. He had preached one farewell sermon at Hogglestock, 
not, as he told his audience, as their pastor, which he had ceased to be 
now for some two or three months, but as their old and loving friend, 
to whom the use of his former pulpit had been lent, that he might 
express himself thus among them for the last time. His sermon was 
very short, and was preached without book or notes, but he never 
once paused for a word or halted in the string or rhythm of his discourse. 
The dean was there and declared to him afterwards that he had not 
given him credit for such powers of utterance. " Any man can utter 
out of a full heart," Crawley had answered. "In this trumpery affair 
about myself, my heart is full ! If we could only have our hearts full 
in other matters, our utterances thereanent would receive more atten- 
tion." To all of which the dean made no reply. 

On the day after this the Crawleys took their final departure from 
Hogglestock, all the brickmakers from Hoggle End having assembled 
on the occasion, with a purse containing seventeen pounds seven 
shillings and sixpence, which they insisted on presenting to Mr. 
Crawley, and as to which there was a little difficulty. And at the 
deanery they remained for a fortnight. How Mrs. Crawley, under the 
guidance of Mrs. Arabin, had there so far trenched upon the revenues 
of St. Ewolds as to provide for her husband and herself raiment fitting 
for the worldly splendour of Plumstead, need not here be told-in detail. 
Suffice to say, the raiment was forthcoming, and Mr. Crawley found him- 
self to be the perplexed possessor of a black dress coat, in addition to the 



876 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

long frock, coming nearly to his feet, which was provided for his daily 
wear. Touching this garment, there had been some discussion between 
the dean and the new vicar. The dean had desired that it should be cur- 
tailed in length. The vicar had remonstrated, but still with something 
of the weakness of compliance in his eye. Then the dean had persisted. 
" Surely the price of the cloth wanted to perfect the comeliness of the 
garment cannot be much," said the vicar, almost woefully. After that, 
the dean relented, and the comeliness of the coat was made perfect. 
The new black long frock, I think Mr. Crawley liked ; but the dress 
coat, with the suit complete, perplexed him sorely. 

With his new coats, and something, also, of new manners, he and 
his wife went over to Plumstead, leaving Jane at the deanery with Mrs. 
Arabin. The dean also went to Plumstead. They arrived there not 
much before dinner, and as Grace was there before them the first moments 
were not so bad. Before Mr. Crawley had had time to feel himself 
lost in the drawing-room, he was summoned away to prepare himself 
for dinner, for dinner, and for the coat, which at the deanery he had 
been allowed to leave unworn. " I would with all my heart that I 
might retire to rest," he said to his wife, when the ceremony had been 
perfected. 

" Do not say so. Go down and take your place with them, and 
speak your mind with them, as you so well know how. Who among 
them can do it so well ? " 

" I have been told," said Mr. Crawley, " that you shall take a cock 
which is lord of the farmyard, the cock of all that walk, and when 
you have daubed his feathers with mud, he shall be thrashed by every 
dunghill coward. I say not that I was ever the cock of the walk, but I 
know that they have daubed my feathers." Then he went down among 
the other poultry into the farmyard. 

At dinner he was very silent, answering, however, with a sort of 
graceful stateliness any word that Mrs. Grantly addressed to him. 
'Mr. Thorne, from Ullathorne, was there also to meet his new vicar, as 
Tas also Mr. Thome's very old sister, Miss Monica Thorne. And Lady 
Anne Grantly was there, she having come with the expressed intention 
that the wives of the two brothers should know each other, but with 
a warmer desire, I think, of seeing Mr. Crawley, of whom the clerical 
world had been talking much since some notice of the accusation 
against him had become general. There were, therefore, ten or twelve 
at the dinner-table, and Mr. Crawley had not made one at such a board 
certainly since his marriage. All went fairly smooth with him till the 
ladies left the room ; for though Lady Anne, who sat at his left hand, 



MB. CRAWLEY IS CONQUERED. 377 

had perplexed him somewhat with clerical questions, he had found that 
he was not called upon for much more than monosyllabic responses. 
But in his heart he feared the archdeacon, and he felt that when the 
ladies were gone the archdeacon would not leave him alone in his 
silence. 

As soon as the door was closed, the first subject mooted was that 
of the Plumstead fox, which had been so basely murdered on Mr. 
Thome's ground. Mr. Thorne had confessed the iniquity, had dis- 
missed the murderous keeper, and all was serene. But the greater on 
that account was the feasibility of discussing the question, and the 
archdeacon had a good deal to say about it. Then Mi*. Thorne turned 
to the new vicar, and asked him whether foxes abounded in Hogglestock. 
Had he been asked as to the rats or the moles, he would have known 
more about it. 

" Indeed, sir, I know not whether or. no there be any foxes in the 
parish of Hogglestock. I do not remember me that I ever saw one. 
It is an animal whose habits I have not watched." 

" There is an earth at Hoggle Bushes," said the major ; " and I 
never knew it without a litter." 

" I think I know the domestic whereabouts of every fox in Plum- 
stead," said the archdeacon, with an ill-natured intention of astonishing 
Mr. Crawley. 

" Of -foxes with two legs our friend is speaking, without doubt," 
said the vicar of St. Ewolds, with an attempt at grim pleasantry. 

" Of them we have none at Plumstead. No, I was speaking of 
the dear old fellow with the brush. Pass the bottle, Mr. Crawley. 
Won't you fill your glass ? " Mr. Crawley passed the bottle, but would 
not fill his glass. Then the dean, looking up slily, saw the vexation 
written in the archdeacon's face. The parson whom the archdeacon 
feared most of all parsons was the parson who wouldn't fill his glass. 

Then the subject was changed. " I'm told that the bishop has at 
last made his reappearance on his throne," said the archdeacon. 

" He was in the cathedral last Sunday," said the dean. 

" Does he ever mean to preach again ? " 

" He never did preach very often," said the dean. 

" A great deal too often, from all that people say," said the arch- 
deacon. " I never heard him myself, and never shall, I dare say. You 
have heard him, Mr. Crawley ? " 

" I have never had that good fortune, Mr. Archdeacon. But living 
as I shall now do, so near to the city, I may perhaps be enabled to 
attend the cathedral service on some holyday of the Church, which may 

II. XXXII. 3 T 



378 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

not require prayers in my own rural parish. I think that the clergy of 
the diocese should be acquainted with the opinions, and with the voice, 
and with the very manner and words of their bishop. As things are 
now done, this is not possible. I could wish that there were occasions 
on which a bishop might assemble his clergy, and preach to them 
sermons adapted to their use." 

" What do you call a bishop's charge, then ? " 

"It is usually in the printed form that I have received it," said 
Mr. Crawley. 

" I think we have quite enough of that kind of thing," said the 
archdeacon. 

" He is a man whose conversation is not pleasing to me," Mr. 
Crawley said to his wife that night. 

" Bo not judge of him too quickly, Josiah," his wife said. " There 
is so much of good in him. ! He is kind, and generous, and I think 
affectionate. " 

"But he is of the earth, earthy. Whon you and the other ladies 
had retired, the conversation at first fell on the habits and value of 
foxes. I have been informed that in these parts the fox is greatly 
prized, as without a fox to run before the dogs, that scampering over the 
country which is called hunting, and which delights by the quickness 
and perhaps by the peril of the exercise, is not relished by the riders. 
Of the wisdom or taste herein displayed by the hunters of the day I 
say nothing. But it seemed to me that in talking of foxes Dr. Grantly 
was master of his subject. Thence the topic glided to the duties of a 
bishop and to questions of preaching, as to which Dr. Grantly was not 
slow in offering his opinion. But I thought that I would rather have 
heard him talk about the foxes for a week together." She said nothing 
more to him, knowing well how useless it was to attempt to turn him by 
any argument. To her thinking the kindness of the archdeacon to 
them personally demanded some indulgence in the expression, and even 
in the formation, of an opinion, respecting his clerical peculiarities. 

On the next day, however, Mr. Crawley, having been summoned by 
the archdeacon into the library for a little private conversation, found 
that he got on better with him. How the archdeacon conquered him 
may perhaps be best described by a further narration of what Mr. 
Crawley said to his wife. " I told him that in regard to money matters, 
as he called them, I had nothing to say. I only trusted that his son 
was aware that my daughter had no money, and never would have any. 
* My dear Crawley,' the archdeacon said, for of late there seems to 



ME. CKAWLEY IS COtfQUEBED. 379 

have grown up in the world a habit of greater familiarity than that 
which I think did prevail when last I moved much among men ; * my 
dear Crawley, I have enough for both.' ' I would we stood on more equal 
grounds,' I said. Then as he answered me, he rose from his chair. 
* We stand,' said he, ' on the only perfect level on which such men can 
meet each other. We are both gentlemen.' * Sir,' I said, rising also, 
' from the bottom of my heart I agree with you. I could not have 
spoken such words ; but coming from you who are rich to me who am 
poor, they are honourable to the one and comfortable to the other/ " 

' 'And after that? " 

" He took down from the shelves a volume of sermons which his 
father published many years ago, and presented it to me. I have it now 
under my arm. It hath the old bishop's manuscript notes, which I will 
study carefully." And thus the archdeacon had hit his bird on both 
wings. 



CHAPTER LXXXIV. 
CONCLUSION. 

IT now only remains for me to gather together a few loose strings, and 
tie them together in a knot, so that my work may not become untwisted. 
Early in July, Henry Grantly and Grace Crawley were married in the 
parish church of Plumstead, a great impropriety, as to which neither 
Archdeacon Grantly nor Mr. Crawley could be got to assent for a long 
time, but which was at last carried, not simply by a union of Mrs. 
Grantly and Mrs. Crawley, nor even by the assistance of Mrs. Arabin, 
but by the strong intervention of old Lady Lufton herself. " Of course 
Miss Crawley ought to be married from St. Ewolds vicarage ; but when 
the furniture has only half been got in, how is it possible ? " When 
Lady Lufton thus spoke, the archdeacon gave way, and Mr. Crawley 
hadn't a leg to stand upon. Henry Grantly had not an opinion upon 
the matter. He told his father that he expected that they would many 
him among them, and that that would be enough for him. As for 
Grace, nobody even thought of asking her ; and I doubt whether she 
would have heard anything about the contest, had not some tidings of 
it reached her from her lover. Married they were at Plumstead, and 
the breakfast was given with all that luxuriance of plenty which was so 
dear to the archdeacon's mind. Mr. Crawley was the officiating priest. 
With his hands dropping before him, folded humbly, he told the arch- 
deacon, when that Plumstead question had been finally settled in 
opposition to his wishes, that he would fain himself perform the 
ceremony by which his dearest daughter would be bound to her 
marriage duties. "And who else should?" said the archdeacon. 
Mr. Crawley muttered that he had not known how far his reverend 
brother might have been willing to waive his rights. But the arch- 
deacon, who was in high good humour, having just bestowed a little 
pony carriage on his new daughter-in-law, only laughed at him ; and, 
if the rumour which was handed about the families be true, the arch- 
deacon, before the interview was over, had poked Mr. Crawley in the 
ribs. Mr. Crawley married them ; but the archdeacon assisted, and 
the dean gave away the bride. The Rev. Charles Grantly was there 
also ; and as there was, as a matter of course, a cloud of curates 
floating in the distance, Henry Grantly was perhaps to be excused for 



CONCLUSION. 381 

declaring to his wife, when the pair had escaped, that surely no couple 
had ever been so tightly buckled since marriage had first become a 
Church ceremony. 

Soon after that, Mr. and Mrs. Crawley became quiet at St. Ewolds, 
and, as I think, contented. Her happiness began very quickly. 
Though she had been greatly broken by her troubles, the first sight she 
had of her husband in his new long frock-coat went far to restore her, 
and while he was declaring himself to be a cock so daubed with mud 
as to be incapable of crowing, she was congratulating herself on seeing 
her husband once more clothed as became his position. And they 
were lucky, too, as regarded the squire's house ; for Mr. Thome was 
old, and quiet, and old-fashioned ; and Miss Thorne was older, and 
though she was not exactly quiet, she was very old-fashioned indeed. 
So that there grew to be a pleasant friendship between Miss Thorne 
and Mrs. Crawley. 

Johnny Eames, when last I heard of him, was still a bachelor, and, 
as I think, likely to remain so. At last he had utterly thrown over Sir 
Raffle Buffle, declaring to his friends that the special duties of private 
secretaryship were not exactly to his taste. " You get so sick at the 
thirteenth private note," he said, " that you find yourself unable to carry 
on the humbug any farther." But he did not leave his office. ''I'm the 
head of a room, you know," he told Lady Julia De Guest ; " and there's 
nothing to trouble me, and a fellow, you know, ought to have some- 
thing to do." Lady Julia told him, with a great deal of energy, that 
she would never forgive him if he gave up his office. After that 
eventful night when he escaped ignominiously from the house of Lady 
Demolines under the protection of the policeman's lantern, he did hear 
more than once from Porchester Terrace, and from allies employed by 
the enemy who was there resident. " My cousin, the serjeant," 
proved to be a myth. Johnny found out all about that Serjeant 
Hunter, who was distantly connected, indeed, with the late husband of 
Lady Demolines, but had always persistently declined to have any 
intercourse whatever with her ladyship. For the serjeant was a rising 
man, and Lady Demolines was not exactly progressing in the world. 
Johnny heard nothing from the serjeant ; but from Madahna he got 
letter after letter. In the first she asked him not to think too much 
of the little joke that had occurred. In her second she described the 
vehemence of her love. In her third the bitterness of her wrath. Her 
fourth she simply invited him to come and dine in Porchester Terrace. 
Her fifth was the outpouring of injured innocence. And then came 
letters from an attorney. Johnny answered not a word to any of them, 



382 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

and gradually the letters were discontinued. Within six months of the 
receipt of the last, he was delighted by reading among the marriages in 
the newspapers a notice that Peter Bangles, Esq., of the firm of Burton 
and Bangles, wine merchants, of Hook Court, had been united to 
Madalina, daughter of the late Sir Confucius Demolines, at the church 
of Peter the Martyr. " Most appropriate," said Johnny, as he read 
the notice to Conway Dalrymple, who was then back from his wedding 
tour ; " for most assuredly there will be now another Peter the Martyr." 

" I'm not so sure of that," said Conway, who had heard something 
of Mr. Peter Bangles. " There are men who have strong wills of their 
own, and strong hands of their own." 

" Poor Madalina ! " said Johnny. " If he does beat her, I hope he 
will do it tenderly. It may be that a little of it will suit her fevered 
temperament." 

Before the summer was over Conway Dalrymple had been married 
to Clara Van Siever, and by a singular arrangement of circumstances 
had married her with the full approval of old Mrs. Van. Mr. Musselboro, 
whose name I hope has not been altogether forgotten, though the 
part played by him has been subordinate, had opposed Dalrymple in 
the efforts made by the artist to get something out of Broughton's estate 
for the benefit of the widow. From circumstances of which Dalrymple 
learned the particulars with the aid of an attorney, it seemed to him 
that certain facts were wilfully kept in the dark by Musselboro, and he 
went with his complaint to Mrs. Van Siever, declaring that he would 
bring the whole affair into court, unless all the workings of the firm 
were made clear to him. Mrs. Van was very insolent to him, and 
even turned him out of the house. But, nevertheless, she did not 
allow Mr. Musselboro to escape. Whoever was to be left in the dark 
she did not wish to be there herself; and it began to dawn upon her 
that her dear Musselboro was deceiving her. Then she sent for 
Dalrymple, and without a word of apology for her former conduct, put 
him upon the right track. As he was pushing his inquiries, and 
working heaven and earth for the unfortunate widow, as to whom he 
swore daily that when this matter was settled he would never see her 
again, so terrible was she to him with her mock affection and pretended 
hysterics, and false moralities, he was told one day that she had gone 
off with Mr. Musselboro ! Mr. Musselboro, finding that this was the 
surest plan of obtaining for himself the little business in Hook Court, 
married the widow of his late partner, and is at this moment probably 
carrying on a law-suit with Mrs. Van. For the law-suit Conway 
Dalrymple cared nothing. When the quarrel had become hot between 



CONCLUSION. 883 

Mrs. Van and her late myrmidon, Clara fell into Conway's hands 
without opposition ; and, let the law-suit go as it may, there will be 
enough left of Mrs. Van's money to make the house of Mr. and Mrs. 
Conway Dalrymple very comfortable. The picture of Jael and Sisera 
was stitched up without any difficulty, and I daresay most of my readers 
will remember it hanging on the walls of the exhibition. 

Before I take my leave of the diocese of Barchester for ever, which 
I purpose to do in the succeeding paragraph, I desire to be allowed to 
say one word of apology for myself, in answer to those who have 
accused me, always without bitterness, and generally with tenderness, 
of having forgotten, in writing of clergymen, the first and most pro- 
minent characteristic of the ordinary English clergyman's life. I have 
described many clergymen, they say, but have spoken of them all as 
though their professional duties, their high calling, their daily workings 
for the good of those around them, were matters of no moment, either 
to me, or, in my opinion, to themselves. I would plead, in answer to 
this, that my object has been to paint the social and not the professional 
lives of clergymen ; and that I have been led to do so, firstly, by a 
feeling that as no men affect more strongly, by their own character, the 
society of those around than do country clergymen, so, therefore, 
their social habits have been worth the labour necessary for painting 
them ; and secondly, by a feeling that though I, as a novelist, may feel 
myself entitled to write of clergymen out of their pulpits, as I may also 
write of lawyers and doctors, I have no such liberty to write of them in 
their pulpits. When I have done so, if I have done so, I have so far 
transgressed. There are those who have told me that I have made all 
my clergymen bad, and none good. I must venture to hint to such 
judges that they have taught their eyes to love a colouring higher than 
nature justifies. We are, most of us, apt to love Raphael's madonnas 
better than Rembrandt's matrons. But, though we do so, we know 
that Rembrandt's matrons existed ; but we have a strong belief that no 
such woman as Raphael painted ever did exist. In that he painted, as 
he may be surmised to have done, for pious purposes, at least for 
Church purposes, Raphael was justified ; but had he painted so for 
family portraiture he would have been false. Had I written an epic 
about clergymen, I would have taken St. Paul for my model ; but 
describing, as I have endeavoured to do, such clergymen as I see around 
me, I could not venture to be transcendental. For myself I can only 
say that I shall always be happy to sit, when allowed to do so, at the 
table of Archdeacon Grantly, to walk through the High Street of Bar- 
Chester arm in arm with Mr. Robarts of Framley, and to stand alone 



384 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAR SET. 

and shed a tear beneath the modest black stone in the north transept of 
the cathedral on which is inscribed the name of Septimus Harding. 

And now, if the reader will allow me to seize him affectionately by the 
arm, we will together take our last farewell of Barset and of the towers 
of Barchester. I may not venture to say to him that, in this country, he 
and I together have wandered often through the country lanes, and have 
ridden together over the too-well wooded fields, or have stood together 
in the cathedral nave listening to the peals of the organ, or have together 
sat at good men's tables, or have confronted together the angry pride of 
men who were not good. I may not boast that any beside myself have 
so realized the place, and the people, and the facts, as to make such 
reminiscences possible as those which I should attempt to evoke by 
an appeal to perfect fellowship. But to me Barset has been a real 
county, and its city a real city, and the spires and towers have been 
before my eyes, and the voices of the people are known to my ears, and 
the pavement of the city ways are familiar to my footsteps. To them 
all I now say farewell. That I have been induced to wander among 
them too long by my love of old friendships, and by the sweetness of 
old faces, is a fault for which I may perhaps be more readily forgiven, 
when I repeat, with some solemnity of assurance, the promise made in 
my title, that this shall be the last chronicle of Barset. 



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